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Humanities 2014, 3(2), 102-131; doi:10.3390/h3020102

Will Naomi’s Nation be Ruth’s Nation?: Ethnic Translation as a Metaphor for Ruth’s Assimilation within Judah

Department of Theology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3LD, UK
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translation as the Foundation for Humanistic Investigations)
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Abstract

This article utilizes research concerning assimilation as a heuristic analytical tool through which to understand some of the factors that may have influenced Ruth’s and Naomi’s assimilation (or re-assimilation in Naomi’s case, having returned to Judah) within the Biblical book of Ruth. Initially, analysis of research concerning assimilation, research which originally emerged within the U.S. but has since developed on a larger and more sophisticated scale, is undertaken before the article turns to evaluate the narrative within the book of Ruth in light of the literature from social and cultural anthropology. Such literature considers the impact that family, friendship, and religious networks have on immigration and assimilation. It is suggested that the concept of “ethnic translation” rather than assimilation is more appropriate to the experience represented within the narrative. Furthermore, it is argued that Ruth’s assimilation, or ethnic translation and Naomi’s return migration and re-assimilation (or ethnic re-translation) are assisted greatly by family networks and by religious participation. While primarily a study of Hebrew Bible narrative, the interdisciplinary nature of the article enables it to serve as a springboard for larger reflections, especially in light of the new concept of ethnic translation.
Keywords: Ruth; Naomi; Hebrew Bible; Old Testament; migration; assimilation; ethnicity; translation Ruth; Naomi; Hebrew Bible; Old Testament; migration; assimilation; ethnicity; translation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Southwood, K.E. Will Naomi’s Nation be Ruth’s Nation?: Ethnic Translation as a Metaphor for Ruth’s Assimilation within Judah. Humanities 2014, 3, 102-131.

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