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Cultural Translation as Method

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Chapter Summary

The study of cultural translation (CT), or cultural translativity, is new for Hebrew Bible studies. Originating in social anthropology and informed by linguistic theory, it is the methodological discussion that explores how an ethnographer "translates" the culture he/she is observing to his/her own culture. This chapter summarizes CT within Israelite religious studies, critiques its limited use of CT and, informed by a broader and more recent knowledge of CT in anthropology, develops a method of CT that can be used for studying the shift in YHWH's kingship. Ronald Hendel repeats Israel's uniqueness among its neighbors. The method of CT is new to the study of Israelite religion. While it has briefly been introduced by Mark. S. Smith and Assmann, studying the roots of the method in anthropology and its development within that field show significant developments by Asad and notably by Amitav Ghosh.

Keywords: Amitav Ghosh; anthropology; cultural translation (CT); Hebrew bible; Israelite religious studies; Jan Assmann; linguistic theory; Mark. S. Smith; Ronald Hendel; YHWH's kingship



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