Passwords to Paradise: How Languages Have Re-invented World Religions

Passwords to Paradise: How Languages Have Re-invented World Religions

by Nicholas Ostler


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620405154
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,281,851
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Nicholas Ostler is the author of The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel, Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, and Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World. He is chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages (, a charity that supports the efforts of small communities worldwide to better know and use their languages. A scholar with a working knowledge of eighteen languages, Ostler lives in Hungerford, England.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction: The Great Bonds of Humanity-Languages and Faiths xiii

1 Scattered Jades-A Mexican Virgin Mary 1

2 On Ass's Lip, and a Great Conveyance-The Buddha Taken North 15

3 "Fine Words Are Not Trusty"-Aryan Vehicle on Road into Chinese 43

4 "To Deep of Lip and Heavy of Tongue"-From Galilee to the Gentile 60

5 "In This Sign You Will Conquer"-Chosen by Emperors 75

6 "Every Man Heard… His Own Language"-One Christ, Many Tongues? 92

7 "Proclaiming the Good News"-With Christ into Northern Europe 123

8 "Adze-Headed Across the Sea"-White Martyrdom 129

9 The Savior as Our Chieftain-The Gospel of the War Band 138

10 "Listen, All Ye Slavs"-Orthodoxy Rejects Trilingualism 164

11 Conversion by the Book-The Faith Enforced in Latin America 185

12 Gloria Tlatoani-Christian Literature among the Indios 217

13 Extirpación de Idiomas?-Asserting Monolingualism 235

14 "Back to the Sources"-God's Word and Translation 241

15 God and Language Beyond Imitation-One Enough 263

Conclusion: The Enduring Marks of Language Conversions 290

Notes 297

References 321

Index 335

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