Group Members

Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz

I am Senior Lecturer of Latin American and Amerindian Studies at the University of Stirling. My research is dedicated to the Amerindian cultures and languages of the Andes, mainly Quechua. Within this field I have focused on the language of the colonial Christianisation (

Analysing indigenous and missionary discourse, I have studied the expressive means native authors used in order to convey their image of the colonialised world, characterised by recurring to ancient cultural traditions as well as innovative and sometimes subversive strategies in order to create their own cultural identity. This translation of the two cultural spheres, Spanish and indigenous American, is rooted in the colonial Quechua language the missionaries developed, but its creative usage differentiates it from this missionary means of communication. This can be seen when studying the discourse the missionaries, linguists as well as priests, who try to cope not only with the radically different linguistic structures of the native languages, but also with the transmission of key Christian words and concepts into those, thereby paving the way for the blending of both cultures and religions.

My most recent publications in these fields are:

Chinchaysuyu Quechua and Amage confession manuals – Colonial language and culture contact in Central Peru. Together with Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus. In: Missionary Linguistic Studies from Mesoamerica to Patagonia, Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus, Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez, Liesbeth Zack, Otto Zwartjes (eds.), pp. 156-219. (Brill’s Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, Volume 22.) Leiden: Brill, 2020. (information at:; pre-published version at:

(Editor) Translating Wor(l)ds: Explaining Christianity across Cultural Boundaries. (Collectanea Instituti Anthropos 51.) 330 pp. Baden-Baden: Academia Verlag 2019. (For information see
Contribution: Recontextualising the Sacraments: Diego González Holguín’s Construction of Christian Vocabulary in Colonial Peru, pp. 157-198. (Pre-published version at:

(Editor) Idolatría y sexualidad: métodos y contextos de la transmisión y traducción de conceptos cristianos en los confesionarios ibéricos y coloniales de los siglos xvi-xviii. Idolatry and Sexuality: Methods and Contexts of Transmission and Translation of Christian Concepts in the Iberian and Colonial Confession Manuals of the 16th-18th Centuries). Organización: Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz. Dossier in: Indiana 35/2 (2018): 7-207. (Accessible at:
Contribution: “¿Sueles decir al hechicero: ‘Adivina para mí’?” – Funcionalidad gramatical en las traducciones al quechua de cinco confesionarios coloniales, pp. 175-207.

Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez

I am assistant professor at Utrecht University and the national coordinator of the Spanish section of Masterlanguage. I am affiliated with CEDLA (Centre for Latin American research and documentation/UvA, The Netherlands) and with the Laboratoire Histoire des Théories Linguistiques (Paris), as well as desk editor of ERLACS (European Revue of Latin American and Caribbean Studies) and a member of the Editorial team of Language & History.

Currently I am editing the oldest bilingual dictionary of Ilocano, a Philippine language: Tesoro de la lengua ylocana (ca. 1760). I am also interested in Polymaths and the circulation of knowledge between Europe-Asia-America; as well as translation, and the history of teaching foreign languages focusing on missionary grammars and dictionaries.

Zhe Gao

‘I am Senior Lecturer of Religion and Translation at the University of Stirling. The early stage of my academic research mainly focused on the translatability of Christianity into Chinese culture. As one of the major participants of the Movement of Sino-Christian Studies, all of my research in this area can be seen as translating activities, whether they are linguistic translations of English Christian literature into Chinese, or re-interpretations of Christian messages in the context of Chinese society and culture, or the practice of interfaith dialogue between Christianity and Chinese traditions – especially through doing comparative theology. My more recent research focuses on the history of ‘religion’ as a modern category in its relation to Chinese intellectual and political narratives since its being introduced to China at the end of the 19th century.’

Brian Murdoch

Brian Murdoch is Emeritus Professor of German at Stirling University and has been the Hulsean Lecturer in Divinity in Cambridge and the Speaker’s Lecturer in Biblical Studies in Oxford. His areas of specialisation include early medieval Germanic religious writings and translation, especially Old High German (also Gothic, Old Frisian); medieval and renaissance texts on Genesis in Latin and in European vernaculars; biblical apocryphal texts, especially the Life of Adam and Eve (principally in Latin, English, Germanic, Celtic); saints’ lives. He also translates and writes on heroic literature, on the literature of the world wars, and on the Oxford Inklings. Relevant books include: Adam’s Grace. Fall and Redemption in Medieval Literature (Cambridge: Brewer, 2000); The Apocryphal Lives of Adam and Eve. The Canticum de Creatione and the Auchinleck Life of Adam (with J. Tasioulas. Exeter: EUP, 2002); The Medieval Popular Bible: Expansions of Genesis (Cambridge: Brewer, 2003); Early Germanic Literature and Culture (with M. Read. Rochester: Camden House, 2004); German Literature of the Early Middle Ages (Rochester: Camden House, 2004); The Apocryphal Adam and Eve in Medieval Europe (Oxford: OUP, 2009); Gregorius. An Incestuous Saint in Medieval Europe and Beyond (Oxford: OUP, 2012).

Some recent articles in my research field are: “The Middle English Iacob and Iosep“, in English Studies 98 (2017), 846-65;  “Biblical Hermeneutics and the Penance of Adam and Eve”, in The Embroidered Bible (Festschrift for Michael E. Stone) (Leiden: Brill 2017), 758-70; “Saltair na Rann XXXV-LXX. The Story of Moses”,in Eriu 69 ( 2019) 1-40; [with David Derrick]: “C. S. Lewis, Thomas Derrick, and Screwtape,” in Journal of Inklings Studies 11 (2021), 210-17.

Richard Roberts

I am Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies (Lancaster University and after some years of teaching and attachment at Stirling, and currently also Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

My recent activities and publications include:

‘A New Kenosis? Cyborgs, virtual reality, and the dialectics of spatiality and embodiment in the religio-spiritual “glocal” matrix’, BASR Annual Conference 2019, ‘Visualising Cultures: Media, Technology and Religion’, Leeds Trinity University, 2-4 September 2019.

‘God’ in Johannes Sachhuber, Judith Wolfe and Joel D. S. Rasmussen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century Christian Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 573-590. 

‘Theological Revisionism and the Recomposition of the Religio-spiritual Field’ in Translating Wor(l)ds: Christianity across Cultural Boundaries Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Saenz (ed.), Collectanea Instituti Anthropos Baden-Baden: Academia/Nomos (2019), pp. 305-333.

Following delivery fourth Tony McManus Memorial Geopoetics Lecture in November 2020 (, ‘Hugh MacDiarmid’s On a Raised Beach:‘Geopoetics’ in a time of catastrophic crisis’ is in the process of publication (12/2021) in the online journal Religions. This looks small and recondite, but in reality, is an ambitious paper.

Ongoing research interests: ‘managerial modernity’; the interface between music, performance and ritual; ‘Geopoetics’, shamanism and altered states of consciousness; interrogation of the current polarisation between theology and religious studies; spirituality, embodiment and sexuality.

Roxana Sarion

I hold a PhD in Spanish Literature and Culture from the UiT-The Artic University of Norway. My research focuses on the encounters and cultural transfers produced in colonial Spanish America.

My PhD dissertation represents the first monograph on an understudied missionary text written by the Franciscan friar Matías Ruiz Blanco, Conversion de Piritu de indios cumanagotos, palenques y otros (1690), which sheds new light on the process of conversion to Christianity in Latin America.

Her publications include: “Intersecting Frames of Legibility in Conversion de Piritu (1690): A Remodeling of Paratexts in the Digital Setting”, in Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines (Pepita Hesselberth, Janna Houwen, Esther Peeren, and Ruby de Vos eds.), Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race, Vol. 33 (Brill, 2018); and “Matías Ruiz Blanco’s Reconceptualisation of Carib Practices and Traditions in his Conversion de Piritv de indios cvmanagotos, palenqves, y otros (1690)”, in Translating Wor(l)ds: Explaining Christianity across Cultural Boundaries  (S. Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz ed.), Collectanea Instituti Anthropos 50 (Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2019).

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