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Daniel Boyarin: Philological Investigations

The Concept of Cultural Translation in American Religious Studies

May 11, 19:30, 2016

"Jedenfalls aber ist unsere philologische Heimat die Erde; die Nation kann es nicht mehr sein." (Our philological home is the earth. It can no longer be the nation.)
Erich Auerbach, Philology and Weltliteratur (1952)

For many years, Daniel Boyarin has been engaged in a project to discover how or why it makes sense to speak of "religion" as existing or not at a given time and place. In this project, Wittgenstein has proven to be an increasingly consequential compagnon de route. Boyarin takes the Philosophical Investigations not so much as a work of academic philosophy but as an attempt to describe how language actually works, how human beings produce meaningful speech and writing. The central question treated in this presentation is adequacy of terms drawn from Euro-American languages to describe the cultures of alter. In order to adumbrate some answers to these questions the thinking of Talal Asad about cultural translation is pitted against that of J. Z. Smith.

Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture at UC Berkeley in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric.  

The keynote is part of the conference Untying the Mother Tongue: On Language, Affect, and the Unconscious

Time: Wednesday, 11 May 2016, 19:30
ICI Berlin
In English

Organized by Federico Dal Bo and Antonio Castore

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