Doors to the Storytelling Court open at 8pm and people start walking in. A live, human audience—not just the figments of my imagination I’ve addressed during our practice runs! This is exciting.
John gives a brief introduction, the lights dim, the projections and the music come on. Annie and I walk to the front and wait for the images and music to fade. We each speak our part. I introduce each narrative section, making the link to the longer accounts from which these have been extracted as well as the fabric of history and culture within which these conversion stories are embedded.
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The response to our call for papers was marvellously enthusiastic. With nearly fifty abstracts, balancing quantity with quality was a difficult task. We had at least 20-25 good abstracts and if time permitted, we would have been delighted to include more than the current 15 papers that we selected. Our aim was to ensure a good range of religions, regions and languages to enable discussion across various translation and religious traditions.
Apart from these, our two keynote speakers, Alan Williams and Arvind Pal Mandair, have sent us stimulating abstracts that focus on the conceptual and methodological challenges that accompany the study of religions in translation.
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