Martin Espenhorst (Ed.)
Frieden durch Sprache?
(Peace Through Language?)
Studien zum kommunikativen Umgang mit Konflikten und Konfliktlösungen
(Studies on the Role of Communication in Conflicts and Their Solutions)
1. Edition 2012
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte Mainz Beihefte -
We know that history can be affected - and effected - by language and translations, a primary example being Luther´s translation of the Bible into German. Even the political processes of very complex modern societies are controlled by language processes, including deficiencies and communication misunderstandings. But how was the striving for peace transmitted between the various dynasties and societies in Europe? What was the political and cultural role of language in making and preserving peace?
A number of individual studies have addressed the diplomatic methods and strategies of the premodern era, but they did not systematically treat the communicative dimension of peace negotiations of early modern times. The contributions in this edited volume are concerned with this complex question and touch on many individual aspects as well.
The goal of premodern peace negotiations was usually to achieve a consensus within a dense field of political, religious, legal, ceremonial and national interests. The topics and goals, often regionally very diverse, the type of communication organization that existed between and within the various bodies, as well as the use of presents, ceremonial standards and symbolic actions were all very heterogeneous. The main object was to avoid (or anticipate) misunderstandings, but also to understand, bridge and, if need be, create them. The power inherent in language was used to translate in matters of literature, art and the media, and formed the basis for peace processes. This discussion about the various types of peace-making processes was the theme of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research entitled "Translation as Part of Diplomacy and Media in the Premodern Peace Process." Other participants were the Institute for European History in Mainz, the Institute for European Cultural History in Augsburg and the State Gallery in Stuttgart. The volume "Peace Through Language?" documents the research results of this project.