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A Contemporary Theory Of Metaphor

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces that contemporary theoretical understanding of the nature, function, and structure of metaphor, and points to some of the ways it can be applied to the issues and questions biblical ethics addresses. The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another. This is the working definition George Lakoff and Mark Johnson offer in the ground-breaking book, Metaphors We Live By. According to this theory, metaphor is not merely a matter of words, it is the main way we comprehend abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning. In fact, research data support the claim that metaphor is essentially conceptual, not linguistic, in nature, and that metaphorical expressions in language are 'surface manifestations' of conceptual metaphor.

Keywords: biblical ethics; conceptual metaphors; contemporary theory of metaphor; George Lakoff; Mark Johnson; Metaphors We Live By



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