Spiritist Alliance For Books
A History of SAB:
With the need to open a Spiritist Group to pursue in-depth studies of Spiritism, we soon realized that we lacked study materials in English.
As a result, a number of its founders and participating members have founded the Spiritist Alliance for Books (SAB), which is a project that brings together people from all over the world interested in the dissemination of the Spiritist Doctrine in the English speaking world, and who are willing to volunteer in the effort of translating spiritist books (which were originally written in other languages) into English.
At that time there were only a few books translated and available to the general public in English:
The Gospel According to Spiritism, by Allan Kardec – Janet Duncan
The Spirits’ Book, by Allan Kardec – AKES and Anna Blackwell
The Mediums’ Book, by Allan Kardec – Anna Blackwell
Christian Agenda, by Andre Luiz/Francisco Xavier
After the Storm, by Joanna de Angelis/Divaldo Franco
Obsession, by Manoel Philomeno de Miranda/Divaldo Franco
Who is Afraid of Death, by Richard Simonetti
As we can see not even the five books of the codification were available in English, and this was of utmost importance.
We start then to work with the translation of these two books, Heaven and Hell and Genesis. We found out-of-print translations of both books and we began to work with them together with the original French. Our main concern was to insure a faithful translation of the original French written and published by Allan Kardec in 1865 and in 1868, respectively. In order to achieve that goal we scrutinized both the English and the French version, analyzing paragraph by paragraph.
In the case of Heaven and Hell, we decided to maintain the name of the original translator, Anna Blackwell, revised by SAB, because the amount of changes and updates were not that significant (about 20% of the whole book). In the case of Genesis, however, the new translation is of SAB because significant changes and additions had to be made so that the reader could rest assured that he or she would be able to enjoy the original unaltered translation of the French version.
Of course, a project of this magnitude could only be accomplished through the efforts and dedication of tireless and dedicate workers.
Parallel to that, during our work in other Spiritist Centers, we were already translating some books and English material. With the Spiritist Alliance for Books, we had the opportunity of gathering all these translations and to make them ready for publication.
We still lack people to help us with the translations, there are not many who actually find the time to contribute on a large scale, but any help is welcome.
How do you pick which books to translate?
We are not necessarily the ones who pick the books to be translated. We have been working in association with the Brazilian Spiritist Federation and the International Spiritist Council , and they tell us which are the books that they consider to be priority. Since we have a great interest that the translated books be published, we follow their instructions. We may also suggest them, in accordance to our needs, some titles to be translated.
To pick a book is not an easy task, because we have to deal with the copyrights’ owner. In the first place we lack the publishers’ trust. They hold the copyrights of the books in Portuguese, so only they can grant us the rights of translation. And be advised that here we are referring to serious minded workers who are committed to preserving the pure essence of the doctrine of the spirits, and who are already well known in Brazil by the seriousness of the work that they are achieving abroad with regard to Spiritism. At first we used to start translating the books without previous authorization, in the hope that, once completed, the publishers would ultimately grant us the rights, or even display an interest in publishing them, but today we no longer do that.
The publication of a book in the United States is comparatively higher in cost than it is in Brazil, which explains our difficulty in publishing books here. A second challenge to the publisher’s willingness to allow translation is that the consuming public here, that is to say, the followers of the doctrine whose native language is English, are still very few. So they know not to expect an immediately significant return on the sale of the books.
For these reasons, financially speaking, to invest on a large scale in the publication of books in English is not as appealing to them.
Talk about the process of the actual translation
We have a few individuals working in the translation of some Spiritist material and others in the translation of books. The translation of books requires more dedication and commitment; therefore it is easier to find individuals to proofread them than actually doing the translation itself. All translations will always be revised by a team of workers for accuracy in relation to the original text as well as the English language.
How long do translations take?
That depends on the number of workers, which we have already mentioned are not many. It can take years for a book to be translated and totally ready for publication, after several revisions.
We make an appeal to all brothers and sisters of goodwill, to willingly join with us and aid us, within your realm of possibility, so that you can make it possible for us to have conditions of having the books translated. We urgently need translators, people who could assist us in the task of revision, and publishers who are not concerned about receiving their rewards in the material plane, but rather that have the awareness of the fruits that they will be planting and of the opportunities that they will be creating when they strive in the advancement of the understanding of humanity.
Jesus said: “Spiritists, love one another, that is the first precept;” – we need your love to propel and to motivate us; “Educate yourselves, this is the second,” – help us so that we can be faithful to the responsibilities that we had assumed when we were still in the spiritual world, when we had committed ourselves to work for the dissemination of the Spiritist Doctrine through the diffusion of the spiritist books among our brothers and sisters of foreign lands.
Why are some books available in PDF e-book and some are not?
The answer is very simple, some copyright owners have given us the right to place the books at our website and others have not. However, there are some books that are public domain, and these we can make available at our website.
On what books is SAB working to translate now?
For 2 years we were engaged in the translation of the Mediumship Course of the International Spiritist Council. It has four booklets with 800 pages. This work was completed by the end of the year 2006. We are working on the translation and publication of:
Liberation, by Andre Luiz/Francisco Xavier – to be published by ISC
Christianity and Spiritism, by Leon Denis – to be published by SAB
Life and Destiny, by Leon Denis – to be published by SAB
If you want to be part of this great initiative, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
List of Books Currently Being Translated