How to Have Your Soul and Eat It Too - Richard Fox

April 06, 2016
Tagged as:
Richard Fox speaker poster

Pacific Basin Research Center Presents

Dr. Richard Fox, Universität Heidelberg

“How to Have Your Soul and Eat It Too: Moments of Translational Indeterminacy on the Indonesian Island of Bali”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 4:45-6:30 p.m.
Maathai Hall 207


Reflecting on recent ethnographic research on the Indonesian island of Bali, Dr. Fox addresses the question of whether our increasingly nuanced attention to the complexity of people’s religious and cultural practices is matched by our theoretical grasp of translation as a form of critical enquiry with specific reference to Quine’s account of translational indeterminacy. He argues that Balinese uses of Sanskrit terminology have played on the possibility of what Quine described in terms of multiple ‘translation manuals’. As a consequence, present day Balinese have been able to embody the ideals of a state bureaucratic Hinduism, while simultaneously cultivating a set of older aims and sensibilities that are at odds with this normalized form of religiosity. He will also discuss a series of questions extrapolating from the Balinese ethnography to wider issues of translation in the study of religion and culture in Asia.