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Open Access Communicating Across Communities

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Communicating Across Communities

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Explicitation in Gaspar Wilkowski’s Polish Translation of Edmund Campion’s Rationes Decem

In the sixteenth century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multicultural and multidenominational country, where religious freedom was guaranteed by the General Warsaw Confederation Act of 1573. This climate of religious tolerance allowed a culture of public theological dispute to flourish within the realm. Printed in Vilnius in 1584, Gaspar Wilkowski’s Dziesięc mocnych dowodów [Ten Strong Reasons]—a translation of Edmund Campion’s Rationes decem—captured this culture of controversy and polemical dispute. To understand the significance of Wilkowski’s book this essay will situate it in its wider historical context of cross-confessional debates between Catholics and the Polish Brethren. Three other books will be discussed to demonstrate that Wilkowski’s translation was clearly written as an instrument of polemical dispute. A textual analysis of the work shows a change of emphasis from Campion’s book, consequently affecting the reader’s reception of the translated work. Understanding how the translator, in this case Wilkowski, made conscious changes in the original text to accommodate the particular needs of his target readership helps explain the purpose and structure of the Polish translation. In short, Wilkowski wanted to make his translation as relevant to his readers as possible.

Affiliations: 1: Tischner European University, cecalma@gmail.com

In the sixteenth century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multicultural and multidenominational country, where religious freedom was guaranteed by the General Warsaw Confederation Act of 1573. This climate of religious tolerance allowed a culture of public theological dispute to flourish within the realm. Printed in Vilnius in 1584, Gaspar Wilkowski’s Dziesięc mocnych dowodów [Ten Strong Reasons]—a translation of Edmund Campion’s Rationes decem—captured this culture of controversy and polemical dispute. To understand the significance of Wilkowski’s book this essay will situate it in its wider historical context of cross-confessional debates between Catholics and the Polish Brethren. Three other books will be discussed to demonstrate that Wilkowski’s translation was clearly written as an instrument of polemical dispute. A textual analysis of the work shows a change of emphasis from Campion’s book, consequently affecting the reader’s reception of the translated work. Understanding how the translator, in this case Wilkowski, made conscious changes in the original text to accommodate the particular needs of his target readership helps explain the purpose and structure of the Polish translation. In short, Wilkowski wanted to make his translation as relevant to his readers as possible.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22141332-00104011
2014-07-09
2017-06-24

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