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  • 1 Universidad de Oviedo Departamento de Filología Anglogermánica y Francesa 33011 Oviedo Spain
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The 19th century Book of Mormon, which was at the base of the creation and spread of a new religious movement in the United States, has been used as an example of what translation scholars have called pseudo-translations (Toury 1995, 2005; Hermans 2007; Vidal 2010). However, the Mormon canon is based upon other documents, also presented as translations to Mormon believers. This paper examines the use of translation as the instrument of normalization of the Mormon movement. The first sections provide a short introduction to the emergence of Mormonism in New York State and to the role of translation in the spread of Christianity. From here we move to study the three types of translations Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church, claimed to have resorted to for the production of his three major works, i.e. The Book of Mormon, the translation of the Bible and the Book of Abraham. In other words, pseudo-translation, interlingual translation and intersemiotic translation. The final section contends that translation is the key element that gives cohesion to the three. It also discusses a controversial component of the original “translated” doctrine: the allegations that racism is present in the original works and the ways in which the Church has coped with such allegations.

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