Communications and Cultural Analysis: A Religious View

By Michael Warren | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Metaphoric Images as Signifiers

UNDERSTANDING METAPHORIC IMAGES

In an image culture like ours, we are all so awash in images that we can overlook the need to think about them. This was my claim in Chapter 5. Yet the deeper problem is not that we look at images ceaselessly; it is that we look at reality through images. Here I am making an important distinction between the images we see and look at, iconic images, and those through which we see, metaphoric images. There is a function of the imagination that goes beyond the faculty of picturing absent objects and recombining them into fantastic forms. Through this imaginal function, a person seeks analogies and metaphors by which to understand and name reality. Images in this sense provide us analogous referents for knowing what things are like. In particular cultures, certain images provide the lenses through which to view reality. As with any kind of lens, we can easily forget that we are seeing through it. We do not see the lens because we are so busy looking through it. Understanding this matter is crucial for cultural agency.

In a perceptive essay, theologian Charles Davis points out how metaphoric images "are the constitutive elements of the world of human meaning." The specific example he uses to illustrate such an image "through which we see" is the image of woman.

The image of woman we have determines the social order and affects the lives of all of us. Image in this sense is not just knowledge, such as is retailed in anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology or history. In some respects it precedes knowledge and guides the knowing process. Again, an image selects items of knowledge and arranges them into a pattern. An image also includes a

-113-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Communications and Cultural Analysis: A Religious View
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 168

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.