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Before ReligionA History of a Modern Concept$
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Brent Nongbri

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300154160

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300154160.001.0001

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Lost in Translation: Inserting “Religion” into Ancient Texts

Lost in Translation: Inserting “Religion” into Ancient Texts

(p.25) Two Lost in Translation: Inserting “Religion” into Ancient Texts
Before Religion

Brent Nongbri

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the ancient usages of small group of such words: the Latin religio, the Greek thrēskeia, and the Arabic terms dīn, milla, and umma. It explains that these terms were all rendered in modern translations as “religion,” but the contexts that these terms occur often make such translations problematic. It explains that the terms were chosen because they are central to early Christian and Early Muslim texts and are so frequently translated as religion.

Keywords:   religion, modern translations, Christian, Muslim, Latin, Greek, Arabic

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