Translation as critique of “cultural sameness”. Ricoeur, Luther and the practice of translation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Philosophy 
The article discusses translation as a critical approach to how we see culture. According to the anthropologist Marianne Gullestad culture is part of mechanism of exclusion when it is linked to identity or “sameness”. Belonging to the same culture becomes a criterion for being included into a society, whereas having a different cultural belonging is a criterion for exclusion. Culture is thus placed within an oppositional logic of same-different. By seeing a parallel between languages and cultures, translation indicates another kind of thinking which is not based on this oppositional logic and hence question the reason for exclusion and inclusion. By the help of philosopher Paul Ricoeur the article looks at Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible in the 16th century as an example of how to avoid seeing linguistic sameness and difference as the only point of departure for thinking relations between languages, and analogically speaking: relations between cultures.