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Open Theology

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Divine Agency as Literal in Cognitive Linguistic Perspective: Response to “Conceiving God: Literal and Figurative Prompt for a More Tectonic Distinction” by Robert Masson

John Sanders
Published Online: 2018-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0037

Abstract

In “Conceiving God: Literal and Figurative Prompt for a More Tectonic Distinction” Robert Masson criticizes my claim that some concepts of God can be literal in the sense of a non-extended meaning as defined by cognitive linguists. He claims that all of our ideas for God can only be through extended meanings (what is typically called figurative language). He says that blending theory requires this conclusion. In response I make three points. First, I argue that this is not what cognitive linguistics requires. Second, that Masson fails to ever show that “God is an agent” is actually a single scope or double scope blend. Third, I suggest that behind our dispute are different metaphysical commitments regarding divine transcendence. Because I reject his understanding of divine transcendence and he fails to show that divine agency must be understood only in an extended sense, I conclude that religious believers can legitimately claim that some of their ideas of God are literal (non-extended meanings).

Keywords: Thomism; cognitive linguistics; literal; God

References

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About the article

Received: 2018-08-07

Accepted: 2018-09-19

Published Online: 2018-10-18

Published in Print: 2018-10-01


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 489–495, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2018-0037.

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© by John Sanders, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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