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The Unconverted SelfJews, Indians, and the Identity of Christian Europe$
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Jonathan Boyarin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226069197

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226069142.001.0001

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Text and Translation

Text and Translation

Chapter:
(p.91) Chapter Five Text and Translation
Source:
The Unconverted Self
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226069142.003.0006

The shared and inseparable gifts of Christianity and civilization were exemplified by the Gospel and the technology of writing in which it was embodied. Resistance to the Gospel and its message could sometimes be ascribed to perverse or inadequate humanity. In Christian Europe, possession of literacy and a privileged relation to texts was a mark of spatial integration within the polis and its microcosms in the New World. As far as passionate Christians were concerned, the single most troublesome trait of Jews and Indians could be their recalcitrance when told about Christ. Rejection of Christ was central to the Christian conception of Jews and Jewishness captured in Christianity's own most sacred texts. Given the long and complex tradition of biblical hermeneutics, this chapter examines the rhetorical and political uses to which the missionaries put this privileged text in dealing with non-Christians, both in the Old World and the New World. It considers textuality, sovereignty, and authority in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, including the early period of colonialism.

Keywords:   textuality, texts, sovereignty, authority, Christianity, biblical hermeneutics, Jews, Indians, Christian Europe, New World

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