TRANSLATING CULTURES: THE CREATION OF SIN IN THE PUBLIC SPACE OF BATSWANA

Musa W Dube

Abstract


 This article seeks to trace the fussy boundaries of religion and the public space in the modern colonial archive of southern Africa. It investigates how drawing such boundaries became a central strategy in translating indigenous cultures into sin and creating guilt in communities that did not observe the sacred and secular boundaries. The article uses the attestations of the 19th century letters to Mahoko a Becwana, a London Missionary Society public paper, printed from Kuruman. While the Batswana worldview kneaded religion and all spheres of individual and collective public space, modern western colonial perspectives claimed otherwise. This paper analyses the letters for the intrusion of colonial religion into the public space of Batswana; the colonial agenda to translate key cultural beliefs and activities into the realm of evil and the various responses it initiated – thereby uncovering that perhaps the separation of religion from state has always been a mythological and ideological construction.


Keywords


Translation studies; Postcolonial; Culture; Public Theology; Religion and the State; Translation Theory; Botswana; Sin

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/114-0-1131

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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