Issue 83/2 – 2015

Issue 83/2 – 2015

28/09/2015 Tana Dluhosova


Contents

Articles

 

Stefan Nowicki
Was Esarhaddon Considered to Be a God? The Case of Uppume.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….217–232

The aim of this article is to present the actions of Ik-Tešub, a king of Šubria at the time of Esarhaddon’s invasion, and to explain them as ritual countermeasures. Unlike earlier interpretations, which focused on a scapegoat ritual, a simple substitute ritual or a symbolic act of surrender, my proposal is to interpret the behaviour of the Šubrian ruler as a substitute king ritual based not on Mesopotamian but Hittite magical traditions. Moreover, the shape of this particular ritual might indicate that Esarhaddon was seen not only as the powerful king and governor of Aššur but in fact also as the god of plague himself.

KEYWORDS
Esarhaddon | Šubria | Ik-Tešub | substitute king ritual | Hurrian traditions

 

Charles Sabatos
The Ottoman Captivity Narrative as a Transnational Genre in Central European Literature
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….233–254

Among the earliest Western representations of the Muslim world were those written by Central European authors who had survived captivity in the Ottoman Empire; they form a largely unexplored genre of “Ottoman captivity narratives.” While strongly related in both theme and style to the better-known Barbary captivity genre, these memoirs offer a broader framework for captivity narratives that are beyond the customary focus on English-language or West European texts. This article examines Ottoman captivity narratives from Georgius of Hungary’s  Tractatus (1481) and Bartolomej Georgijević’s  De Turcarum moribus epitome (1553), both written in Latin, Václav Vratislav z Mitrovic’s Příhody (1599), published in 1777, and Štefan Pilárik’s  Sors Pilarikiana (1666), written in Czech. There is also one Turkish perspective of Austrian captivity, by Osman Aga of Temesvar (1724), published in 1954. While these works reflect the cultural assumptions of their era, they also illustrate an underlying ambiguity toward the Turks, and sometimes a concealed admiration for Ottoman society; some offer the forthright condemnation expected of the era. Through the comparative approach of transnational history, the Ottoman captivity narrative can be seen as a genre that reflects common experiences of engagement with the Orient that are beyond the modern linguistic and politic divisions of the Central European region.

KEYWORDS
Captivity narratives | Central European identity | Orientalism | self-fashioning |
Ottoman-Habsburg relations | transnational history

 

Krzysztof Iwanek
The Textbook of Chanakya’s Pupils. Vidya Bharati and Its Gauravśālī Bhārat Textbook in Uttarakhand
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….255–280

 This article’s two aims are to briefly describe the activities of a Hindu nationalist organisation commonly referred to as Vidya Bharati, particularly in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and more specifically to analyse and describe the contents and political aims of its ideologically charged social science textbook called Gauravśālī Bhārat (“Glorious India”). Vidya Bharati, that is Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan, is a part of a well-known and influential Hindu nationalist organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The author describes how its textbook distorts the vision of history in order to mould the worldview of the students and their vision of contemporary Indian politics and society. The article also states that Gauravśālī Bhārat is probably an edited continuation of the earlier, controversial textbook called Gaurav Gāthā and that Vidya Bharati schools emulate the solutions of Christian missionary schools in some respects.

KEYWORDS
Hindu nationalism | Hindutva | Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh | Vidya Bharati |
education in India | politics of history in India

 

Tse-fu Kuan
Tradition and Adaptation: Translating Indic Buddhist Texts Into Modern Chinese
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….281–316

There was a long tradition of translating Buddhist texts from Indic languages into classical Chinese during the first millennium CE. There have been a number of new Chinese translations of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit and Pali in recent decades. This paper provides case studies that illustrate the various ways in which these modern translations were produced in light of the historical background of traditional translations. When traditional renderings do not suit modern readers for various reasons, translators can take different approaches to adapting their new translations to the readers, such as indirect translation, shifting from source-oriented norms to target-oriented norms, and reinterpreting words from the historical-philological viewpoint. A few instances are cited from the history of Bible translations in the hope of shedding more light on some issues of Buddhist translations, considering certain parallels between the two traditions of translating sacred texts.

KEYWORDS
Sanskrit | Pali | Chinese | Buddhism | translation | Bible

 

Carles Prado-Fonts
I’m a Bannerman, But Bannermen Are Chinese Too: Negotiating Manchu Identity in Lao She’s Teahouse
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….317–341

Lao She’s Teahouse (Chaguan, 1957) is one of the most important plays in modern Chinese literature. Generally contextualised within the Hundred Flowers Movement, scholarship has viewed it as an explicit representation of the historical struggles of modern China, as well as an implicit critique of the political context of the mid-1950s. Such a predominant view on Teahouse is embedded in a discourse of the collective that unites issues of class and nation that was promoted by socialist literature. Adding complexity to this discursive construction through the significance of ethnic identity, this article argues that Teahouse also represents the problematic integration of Manchu identity within the parameters of class and nation in the late-Qing and Republican periods.

KEYWORDS
Lao She | Teahouse | Manchu | ethnicity | class | nation | identity

 

Michael Rudolph
Authenticating Performances: Rituals of Taiwan’s Aborigines Under the Impact of Nativism and Multiculturalism
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….343–374

Adherents of performance theory emphasise the constitutive and transformative potentia of rituals with respect to patterns of social organization and authority. For them, rituals “not only mean something, but also do something, particularly the way they construct and inscribe power relationships” (Bell 1997). This contribution focuses on the role of ritual in postcolonial identity constitution and the performative authentication of political power and social authority in Taiwan. Since the middle of the 1990s, traditionalist performances have been on the rise on the island. Generously subsidised by government bodies which have sought to demonstrate their nativist or multiculturalist orientations, aboriginal elites not only publicly worshipped ancestor gods and enacted animal sacrifices in so called “revitalised” public rituals, but also used these occasions to point to the primordial power of aborigines vis-à-vis their former colonisers, the Han Chinese. In many cases, however, the “revitalised” rituals described here conflicted with the interests of common people in aboriginal society, who wished public ritual to be compatible with their newly adopted Christian traditions. Taking a closer look at the contemporary rituals of the Taroko and Ami, which are characterised by the above mentioned dynamics, I argue that rituals publicly performed by aborigines today amalgamate different levels of meaning. While they articulate and negotiate the identity needs and social exigency of the respective social group or society (Turner 1969), they simultaneously carry those often elite-dominated mechanisms that are described by Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983)  in their examinations of the processes of cultural invention for the needs of political and cultural entities, as well as by Paul Brass (1991) in his analyses of elite competition. In other words, while these rituals may in many cases have efficacy with regard to the constitution of society and identity, the traditionalist rituals in particular frequently serve the authentication exigencies of various elites. Finally, I suggest that if one wants to provide the culture of common people with greater opportunities for representation, one should not focus too much on the display of “authentic” old traditions in order to highlight Taiwanese subjectivity, but should also acknowledge those hybridised new traditions which aboriginal society has generated over the course of Taiwan’s more recent history and which may also contain new religious elements.

KEYWORDS

Taiwan multiculturalism | Taiwan aborigines | indigenous peoples | ritual revitalisation | Postcolonial identity constitution | performative authentication of political power and social authority

 

Book Reviews and Notes

日本言語政策学会 /  Japan Association for Language Policy. 言語政策 / Language
Policy  10. 2014. (Halina Zawiszowá)
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….375–377

 

Our Contributors
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