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Open Theology

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

Eugene R. Schlesinger
Published Online: 2018-01-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0001

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.

Keywords: Sacrifice; Cognitive Linguistics; Metaphor; Evolution; Jonathan Klawans; Fauconnier and Turner; Sarah Coakley

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About the article

Received: 2017-07-21

Accepted: 2017-10-02

Published Online: 2018-01-01


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 1–14, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0001.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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