Translating Catechisms, Translating Cultures

The Expansion of Catholicism in the Early Modern World


Volume Editors: Antje Flüchter and Rouven Wirbser
Translating Catechisms, Translating Cultures explores the dimensions of early modern transcultural Christianities; the leeway of religious negotiation in and outside of Europe by comparing catechisms and their translation in the context of several Jesuit missionary strategies. The volume challenges the often assumed paramount Europeanness of Western Christianity. In the early modern period the idea of Tridentine Catholicism was translated into many different regions where it was appropriated and adopted to local conditions. Missionary work always entails translation, linguistic as well as cultural, which results in a modification of the content. Catechisms were central instruments to communicate Christian belief and, therefore, they are central media for all kinds of translation processes. The comparative approach (including China, India, Japan, Ethiopia, Northern America and England) enables the evaluation of different factors like power relations, social differentiation, cultural patterns, gender roles etc.

Contributors are: Takao Abé, Anand Amaladass, Leonhard Cohen, Renate Dürr, Antje Flüchter, Ana Hosne, Giulia Nardini, John Ødemark, John Steckley, Alexandra Walsham, Rouven Wirbser.

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Antje Flüchter, Ph.D. (2002), Bielefeld University, is Professor for Early Modern History at that university. She has published several works and articles on early modern global history, the history of the confessional age, the history of knowledge and gender history.

Rouven Wirbser, M.A. (2014) is PhD student at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology at Bielefeld University. In his PhD project he researches the activities of the Jesuit order in the German region of Westphalia.
All interested in history, religion and missions in Africa, Asia and Latin America, church history and the history of religions, the history of globalization, art history, translation studies and transcultural history.