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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access January 1, 2018

Sacrifice, Metaphor, and Evolution: Towards a Cognitive Linguistic Theology of Sacrifice

Eugene R. Schlesinger
From the journal Open Theology

Abstract

This article lays the groundwork for articulating a Christian theology of sacrifice within the framework of cognitive linguistics. I demonstrate the affinity and potential for mutual enrichment between three disparate fields of discourse. Beginning with Jonathan Klawans’s methodological proposals for understanding sacrifice as a meaningful phenomenon for those who engage(d) in it, I suggest that the double-scope conceptual blending described by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner provides a helpful resource for Klawans to clarify his thought and answer objections to his proposals. Fauconnier and Turner’s account of double-scope blends is set within an evolutionary account of human development and is the condition of possibility for language, art, science, and religion. I then put Fauconnier and Turner into dialogue with Sarah Coakley’s recent attempts to locate sacrifice within the evolutionary spectrum, and suggest that they provide a more helpful theory of language than Chomsky’s purely formal account.

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Received: 2017-07-21
Accepted: 2017-10-02
Published Online: 2018-01-01

© 2018

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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