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Faithful Renderings

Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation

Faithful Renderings

Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation

Faithful Renderings reads translation history through the lens of Jewish–Christian difference and, conversely, views Jewish–Christian difference as an effect of translation. Subjecting translation to a theological-political analysis, Seidman asks how the charged Jewish–Christian relationship—and more particularly the dependence of Christianity on the texts and translations of a rival religion—has haunted the theory and practice of translation in the West. 

Bringing together central issues in translation studies with episodes in Jewish–Christian history, Naomi Seidman considers a range of texts, from the Bible to Elie Wiesel’s Night, delving into such controversies as the accuracy of various Bible translations, the medieval use of converts from Judaism to Christianity as translators, the censorship of anti-Christian references in Jewish texts, and the translation of Holocaust testimony. Faithful Renderings ultimately reveals that translation is not a marginal phenomenon but rather a crucial issue for understanding the relations between Jews and Christians and indeed the development of each religious community.

312 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2006

Afterlives of the Bible

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Religion: Christianity, Judaism


"[An] ambitious is stimulating, often affording a fresh perspective on familiar texts. Seidman’s métier is cultural theory and hermeneutics, and it is here that she has something to offer biblical specialists."

Cameron Boyd-Taylor | Review of Biblical Literature

"Seidman reveals what a complicated, and sometimes dangerous, business translation is. . . . Certainly as an examination of the intricacies both of translation and of Jewish-Christian relations it is superb."

Ann Conway-Jones | Journal of Jewish Studies

"Faithful Renderings so dazzles with knowledge and insight that it is a daunting read. . . . Even more remarkable is the attentiveness to nuance, offering rich detail, for example, about debates in virtually every age over the spirit and letter in translation."

Mary C. Boys | Theological Studies

"An outstanding and valuable contribution to translation studies and a description of Jewish approaches to translation throughout history."

Francine Kaufmann | Translation Studies

"[An] important contribution to the fields of Translation Studies, Jewish Studies, and Holocaust Studies, to name just a few of the disciplines [this] work will enrich."

Emily Wittman | Shofar

Table of Contents

The Translator as Double Agent

Immaculate Translation
Sexual Fidelity, Textual Transmission, and the Virgin Birth

"The Beauty of Greece in the Tents of Shem"
Aquila between the Camps
False Friends
Conversion and Translation from Jerome to Luther
A Translator Culture

The Holocaust in Every Tongue

Translation and Assimilation
Singer in America

Endecktes Judenthum?
A Translator’s Note


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