Dr. Dahesh's Arabic work, Memoirs of Jesus, the Nazareth : an edited translation and an introduction.

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Burgess, Fawzi
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Middle Tennessee State University
This dissertation involves a translation of Dr. Dahesh's Arabic work, Memoirs of Jesus, the Nazareth. It is also intended to be an introduction to Dahesh's philosophy as aesthetically expressed in his works. The significance of the Memoirs as well as the author's other literary works can be fully appreciated and understood only in the light of his philosophy. The author's philosophy asserts that life is everywhere in the universe, and the doctrine of hell and paradise is essentially true. In fact, as tangentially alluded to in the Memoirs, there is not only one hell and one paradise but countless billions of them, specifically as many as the number of planets and stars themselves. The planets and stars constituting the whole universe are divided into a finite number of celestial and infernal degrees, with each degree--whether celestial or infernal--containing numberless billions of planets and stars. The world of earth belongs to a relatively low infernal degree, and life on it is a backward aspect of the different and countless manifestations of life in the universe. There are universal, moral laws that govern all these worlds. It is this belief in a transcendent reality and a moral universe which is operative in Dahesh's writings.
This dissertation consists of three introductory chapters in addition to the main translated text of the Memoirs. The first chapter consists of a general perspective of the author's philosophy and the central themes underlying his literary works. The second chapter, which is a critique of the Memoirs, shows that the Memoirs exhibits the elements of simplicity and intense passion for moral, transcendent truth which abound in the literature of the Bible. The third chapter focuses on the sociolinguistic approach to the problems of translation, showing the importance of the extralinguistic context of the utterance in translation. This chapter also discusses the differences in grammars and sociolinguistic differences between Arabic and English and the different problems encountered in my translation of the Memoirs as a result of these differences. Then, there is an editorial preface followed by the translated text.