Sunday Sermon

Cultural Translation

I am one of those sentimental types who adheres to the idea that all people across the globe are seeking the same things - love, nourishment, shelter, peace, etc. If this is true, then it would stand to reason that the true wisdom that arises from thinking deeply on our shared needs should have a universal relevance, regardless of the place and time in which it is garnered. Unfortunately, the many unique social mechanisms that have evolved for securing those universal desires, as well as the means to convey the wisdom thus won, are the very basis of cultural difference. Because of these differences, it is often difficult to take the wisdom of one great thinker and make it accessible to seekers from other cultural groups.

There have been many attempts to translate the wisdom of a given culture into forms that can be understood by members of entirely different cultures - like trying to translate the ideas of a renunciant Indian prince or a Galilean carpenter into lessons that apply to the lives of Americans thousands of years later. Adepts spend lifetimes studying the minute details of other cultures attempting to make certain that the message is not lost in a tangle of misunderstood idiom. Those who are best suited for this work have a deep love of the material, and a fervent desire to make the message clear. All too often, it is only a limited success.

Occasionally, however, it is just about perfect. Observe...

Go in Peace


Mark Travis said...

i believe that that is one of the best cross-cultural cover tunes i have ever heard

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