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Open Theology

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Conceiving God: Literal and Figurative Prompt for a More Tectonic Distinction

Robert Masson
Published Online: 2018-02-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0010


John Sanders’ Theology in the Flesh, the first comprehensive overview of the toolkit that contemporary cognitive linguistics offers for theological appropriation, despite its remarkable success, gives rather minimal attention to blending theory, one of the discipline’s most formidable tools. This paper draws on blending theory to offer an alternative to Sanders’ chapter on conceiving God. Central to the proposal is claim that God-talk, like many of the advances in science, technology, and art, entails a kind of tectonic understanding and conceptual mapping that is neither literal nor figurative.

Keywords: God; cognitive linguistics; blending theory; metaphor


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About the article

Received: 2017-10-28

Accepted: 2018-02-02

Published Online: 2018-02-17

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 136–157, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0010.

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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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