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Lost in Translation: On the Untranslatable and its Ethical Implications for Religious Pluralism
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (DICE)
2009 (English)In: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, Vol. 43, no 1, 31-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, there have been reports about increased

religious discrimination in schools. As a way of

acknowledging the importance of religion and faith

communities in the public sphere and to propose a solution to

the exclusion of religious citizens, the political philosopher

Ju¨rgen Habermas suggests an act of translation for which

both secular and religious citizens are mutually responsible.

What gets lost in Habermas’s translation, this paper argues, is

the condition that makes translation both necessary and

(im)possible. Drawing on Walter Benjamin’s notion of the

mysterious untranslatable and the task of the translator, the

paper approaches translation as an ethical process involving

risk, asymmetry and uncertainty. Not knowing where this risk

will lead, the paper takes the ethical ambivalence at play in

Jacques Derrida’s notion of the untranslatable and explores

this in relation to religious difference in education. It argues

that the untranslatable needs to be acknowledged in terms of a

respect for difference and a limit to narration, if students with

religious convictions are not to be further violated in schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing , 2009. Vol. 43, no 1, 31-44 p.
Keyword [en]
translation, ethics, religious pluralism, Benjamin, Derrida, Habermas
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36652ISI: 000264820900004OAI: diva2:289888
Gendering the Cosmopolitan Ethic
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2010-01-25Bibliographically approved

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