By Naomi Seidman
Trustworthy Renderings reads translation heritage throughout the lens of Jewish–Christian distinction and, conversely, perspectives Jewish–Christian distinction as an impression of translation. Subjecting translation to a theological-political research, Seidman asks how the charged Jewish–Christian relationship—and extra fairly the dependence of Christianity at the texts and translations of a rival religion—has haunted the speculation and perform of translation within the West. Bringing jointly significant matters in translation reports with episodes in Jewish–Christian historical past, Naomi Seidman considers various texts, from the Bible to Elie Wiesel’s evening, delving into such controversies because the accuracy of varied Bible translations, the medieval use of converts from Judaism to Christianity as translators, the censorship of anti-Christian references in Jewish texts, and the interpretation of Holocaust testimony. trustworthy Renderings eventually finds that translation isn't a marginal phenomenon yet relatively a vital factor for figuring out the family among Jews and Christians and certainly the advance of every spiritual group.
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Extra info for Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation (Afterlives of the Bible)
For both Philo and the author of Acts, the spiritual source and meaning of their religious proclamations is ultimately both the universal deity and the Jewish God. Philo’s hope that, through the Septuagint, “Every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only,” is cousin though perhaps not sister to Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles (it is, after all, Jewish law that Paul insists Gentiles need not and must not observe).
Finally, I rely on what could be called a Derridean insight, that Jewish translation may be hard to categorize not only because it takes shape in a variety of contexts and periods, but also because translation is a term for doubleness and diJerence, the very site of undecidability and ambivalence. The Septuagint, too, is the site where Judaism and Christianity meet, before they can be named as distinct religions. From the earliest translation project to the “Holocaust” and beyond (the term “holocaust” is, of course, taken from the Septuagint), the rich details of translation can serve as a map of Jewish–Christian identity, that is, of Jewish–Christian diJerence.
Yehiel the Levite, My brother-in-law R. Samuel son of R. Gershon the Levite, and my sister-in-law Malkah daughter of R. Hayim. May their souls be bound in the bonds of eternal life. [TNZB"H ]74 What is clear enough is that the Hebrew and French dedications can hardly be called translations of each other, although a reader without Hebrew (presumably the majority of Levinas’s philosophical readers, as opposed to those of his lectures on the Talmud) might easily assume otherwise. The Hebrew dedication is formulaic and conventional in the extreme, signifying not only Levinas’s memories of those family members who died in the Holocaust (how they died need hardly be said) but also his ﬁdelity to the liturgical norms of Jewish commemoration.