Translating the Sacred Books of the East: Friedrich Max Müller and the Orient

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The edition of the fifty massive volumes of the Sacred Books of the East (1879-1910) was one of the most ambitious and daring translation and editorial projects of late Victorian scholarship. Here the ‘religious’ East was systematically presented to a Western readership in English translations. The German-born philologist, orientalist, and religious scholar Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900) persuaded Oxford University Press to embark on this venture, which was also financially supported by the India Office of the British Empire. The present chapter discusses the scope and significance of the series, while foregrounding translation issues. Scrutinizing Müller’s views of translation, the chapter examines the role of the SBE in framing and establishing the concept of ‘world religions’. The chapter highlights the effects of the comparative method and implied textualization of religion, through a discussion of Müller’s approach to the incongruity between ancient and modern languages, and briefly, the reception of the series.
Originele taal-2English
TitelThe Routledge Handbook of Translation and Religion
RedacteurenHephzibah Israel
Plaats van productieAbingdon
UitgeverijRoutledge
Hoofdstuk3
Pagina's52-67
Aantal pagina's16
ISBN van geprinte versie9781138215665
DOI's
StatusPublished - 19-dec.-2023

Publicatie series

NaamRoutledge Handbooks in Translation and Interpreting Studies
UitgeverijRoutledge

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