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Re: [liturgy-l] Re: NCR: Last-ditch effort to dump Mass translations

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  • Walt Knowles
    Doug, It would be great to have reference to those studies if published. It of course raises the issue which many liturgists try to avoid: what does
    Message 1 of 68 , Nov 8, 2009
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      It would be great to have reference to those studies if published.

      It of course raises the issue which many liturgists try to avoid: what
      does "comprehension" mean? In Hamlet, is comprehension of the famous
      soliloquy 100% when one can empathize with Hamlet's emotional state in
      the plot, recite the text verbatim, recite the Greek sources (in Greek)
      of "on kai me on", describe how they work in Plato, discuss the
      geo-political events which engendered Shakespeare's writing the play,
      etc...? Would any combination of these characteristics be adequate to
      get one from 60% to even 70%? What would 100% comprehension mean?
      Petitioning Parliament to clarify the succession and settle it on James
      of Scotland? In 2009?

      Or is "comprehension" a peculiarly post-enlightenment modernism that
      points at something that is only part of theatrical (and thus
      liturgical) reception. Maybe "cognition" is only a small part of real
      dramatic "comprehension." Would we be willing to say that I (as a
      non-Chinese speaker) having participated in a Mandarin eucharist, and as
      a result went out and help the hispanics in my neighborhood, had
      actually "comprehended" the Eucharist, when the only part of it that I
      could relate to cognitively would be its embodiment, not its text? (and
      I know that I'm stirring in James O'Regan's pot here!)

      None of these questions speak against intelligibility or justify doing
      worship as a simple-minded practice of museology, and I'd argue that a
      reasonable answer would implicate bad (or badly translated) texts even
      more than comparative textual analysis does.

      Walt Knowles
      Berkeley, CA

      Douglas Cowling wrote:
      > On 11/8/09 10:08 AM, "James O'Regan" <oregan@...> wrote:
      >> A caveat. One can make Shakespearean English sound as if it were clear
      >> so that an audience will think that they know what is going on, yet
      >> because of semantic ignorance will never have the rich depth of
      >> understanding that comes with living in an Elizabethan world or having
      >> studied its language.
      > Studies have shown that even among those who know the plays the
      > comprehension level during an actual performance is about 60%: the same as a
      > modern Russian hearing the Orthodox liturgy.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Chris McConnell
      ... Very true. Unfortunately, that s not what they re going to get. Chris
      Message 68 of 68 , Nov 21, 2009
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        --- In liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com, cfortunato58@... wrote:
        > Honestly, I speak to a lot of young Catholics, and by and large, they seem very turned off by the banality, and are absolutely starving for something transcendent, grand and glorious.>>

        Very true. Unfortunately, that's not what they're going to get.

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