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Translational Hermeneutics

2015

Translational Hermeneutics

Seyed Mohammad Alavi
Pages 309-339
DOI: 10.5840/zeta-translational201512

Quran Translation: A Hermeneutical Case Study

Th is paper investigates the role of translators’ experience and understanding of Islam in the translation of the Quran. After juxtaposing and analyzing four translations of the verse 4:34, which deals with the issue of women’s rights and obligations, it shows how conservative, moderate, modernist and pro-feminist readings produce completely different images of women and their relationship to men in family and society from a Quranic viewpoint. It also provides a hermeneutical analysis of the assumptions each translator brings into play when trying to reconcile the question of modern women’s rights with the scripture. In doing so, this paper demonstrates how translators as real agents of translation immerse themselves from a particular viewpoint, or horizon, into the living context of the original text.