Translating Durkheim on Religion

Karen E. Fields

in Teaching Durkheim

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165272
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784554 | DOI:

Series: AAR Teaching Religious Studies Series

 Translating Durkheim on Religion

Show Summary Details


A gap exists between Durkheim's original text and the translated English. The phrase “does not exist” (n'existe pas) as a translation doesn't quite have the same meaning as the French original. Durkheim writes: faire évanouir. If literally translated, he is indicting a science that “makes [its own subject] disappear” or “vanish into thin air” like a ghost or a phantom. The distance between the original sentence and the translated sentence displays a general feature of translation, as a process and as a product. This is explored using three editions of Forms that seeks to improve on Swain's work: excerpts by W.S.F. Pickering and Jacqueline Redding (1975); the author's own complete retranslation (1995), and an Oxford World's Classics Abridgement by Mark S. Cladis and Carol Cosman (2001).

Keywords: existence; translation; Forms; Swain; W.S.F. Pickering; JacquelineRedding; Mark S. Cladis; Carol Cosman

Chapter.  15914 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.