Academic journal article Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

All in a Week's Work: Using Conceptual Metaphor Theory to Explain Figurative Meaning in Genesis 1

Academic journal article Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

All in a Week's Work: Using Conceptual Metaphor Theory to Explain Figurative Meaning in Genesis 1

Article excerpt

1. Introduction and Rationale

The discipline of biblical interpretation is gradually incorporating modern insights from communication theory and applied linguistics, fields which have recently seen paradigm shifts in several areas. Some of these shifts have been driven by advances in cognitive science, in which emerging technology for enhanced neuroimaging has allowed researchers to study brain activity during language processing in new ways. It often takes time for what is considered established theory in one field to influence ideas and methodologies in another field.

In biblical interpretation, it is not uncommon to see people relying on assumptions that are based on a model of communication and approaches to meaning that have been mostly discarded in the fields of cognitive psychology and linguistics. Ideas cross over slowly, but eventually have impact. Some current scholarship in biblical interpretation and theology is endeavoring to apply more-recent insights from various linguistic subdisciplines. For example, Bible scholars and theologians have begun incorporating insights from speech act theory, (1) relevance theory, (2) discourse analysis, (3) and cognitive linguistics. …

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