The focus of the project is the ‘Ñana Upadesam’, the life’s work of Roberto Nobili (1577–1656), an Italian Jesuit and one of the main representatives of the accommodation strategy in South India. This five-volume work, written in Sanskrit and Tamil, has never been studied and translated; it is a compendium for teaching Catholic doctrine to a Tamil audience. Our project pursues two goals:
(1) We want to develop a theoretical concept to uncover the mechanisms of the translation process, using theories from translation studies (e.g. André Lefevere, Larence Venuti).
(2) We want to use this theoretical framework as an instrument to analyse the Jesuit mission in India and beyond, i.e. comparing it on a global scale. In doing so, we wish to contribute to the analysis of a process of transculturalisation and challenge the traditional master narrative of a homogenous (Western) Christianity.
The project is located at the University of Bielefeld, Antje Flüchter is the principal researcher and Giulia Nardini is the research assistant concerned.