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Conceptual Blending In The Exegesis On The Soul

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Chapter Summary

The Nag Hammadi tractate the Exegesis on the Soul sets the stage for its ten manuscript pages of scriptural exegesis with the following statement: "The wise of old gave the soul a feminine name. Indeed, in her nature she is a woman. She even has her womb". This chapter focuses on what Frederik Wisse has called "a difficult and perhaps not entirely successful metaphor" in this text, that of the womb of the soul. It shows its rhetorical function and its relation to other related conceptual metaphors in the tractate. In doing so, the chapter outlines the way in which the Exegesis on the Soul sets in motion a number of complex and intertwined conceptual blends. It employs theories developed within the emerging interdisciplinary field of cognitive poetics, most prominently Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner's theory of conceptual blending, also known as conceptual integration, mental binding, or simply blending theory.

Keywords: cognitive poetics; conceptual blending theory; Exegesis on the Soul; Frederik Wisse; Gilles Fauconnier; Mark Turner; Nag Hammadi tractate



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