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Investigating the Structure of Religious Concepts

A Few Remarks from the Perspective of Enactivism and Cognitive Linguistics

Matylda Ciołkosz
Published Online: 2016-02-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0007


The aim of the paper is to discuss the possible application of the theory of embodied cognition and the category of image schemata to the study of religious concepts within the Cognitive Science of Religion. Departing from the notion of counterintuitiveness and Boyer’s description of religious representations as minimally counterintuitive, the author briefly discusses the critique of this approach. Subsequently, different models of mind and cognition within the Cognitive Science are summarised, with special attention given to the enactive approach, as proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosch. The notion of embodied meaning, situated within enactivism, is then discussed, together with Johnson’s concept of image schemata as basic semantic units. To discuss the applicability of image schemata in the study of religious concepts, the author summarises a case study, related to the interpretation of the categories of sāṃkhya-yoga darśana in Iyengar Yoga.

Keywords: counterintuitiveness; ontological categories; enactivism; embodied cognition; enaction; image schemata; ritual studies; Sāṃkhya-Yoga; Modern Postural Yoga


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About the article

Received: 2015-06-24

Accepted: 2015-09-22

Published Online: 2016-02-23

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0007.

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©2016 Matylda Ciołkosz. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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