Serving More Than Two Masters: Contextualization of Christianity
in Contemporary China and the Changes of Christianity in Translated Texts


The publication volume of translation works of Christian literature from English to Chinese soar recently with the contextualization of Christianity in contemporary China. The translation approach that the translators opt for, serving the standard of Christianity – to preserve the message, or serving the standard of translation studies – to find the dynamic equivalence, is influenced by the activation and verification of their identities. Four Chinese translation versions of C.S.Lewis' Screwtape Letters, published in the Mainland of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively, as well as the identities of their translators are examined. The research data includes both translation texts and translators’ notes. It is interesting to note that in the translated texts, Christianity has been indeed changing in the target culture during the dialogue created by the translators. It is suggested in the paper that by adopting the contextualization model which developed by missionaries into the analysis of translation texts, the religion changes that often going unnoticed by target texts readers could be revealed under the cover of "dynamic equivalence" which often being highlighted in translation studies. The tension between the commandment of serving one master in Christianity and the well-acknowledged perception that translators also serve target culture is illustrated by using the tool of detailed textual analysis. The paper concludes that the concepts of Christianity has been blended into the context of various familiar religions for Chinese readers.

Author Information
Chen Zhang, POAC Ka Chi Secondary School, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2020
Stream: Linguistics / Language and Religion

This paper is part of the ACERP2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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