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The Bible through Metaphor and Translation

A Cognitive Semantic Perspective


Kurt Feyaerts

This volume assembles selected proceedings of a conference held at the University of Leuven in July 1998. It sheds light on the tension between ‘change’ and ‘preservation’ in religious language. More specifically, the volume focuses on metaphor and translation as two sources of linguistic (semantic) change, which both play an important role in the continuous process of interpreting and re-interpreting discourse, i.e. the Bible. Although operating on different grounds with different intensity and range, both processes face the same challenge of finding new, historically and co(n)textually appropriate linguistic means to express a complex content. With regard to the cultural (religious) and historical embeddedness of different communities, the requirement of linguistic appropriateness inevitably leads to a continuous process of semantic adjustment (‘reinterpretation’) of earlier versions of a text. In dealing with religious language, however, this process of semantic change, which from a linguistic point of view may seem inevitable, sometimes faces severe opposition from the religious community itself. This very tension between the natural process of semantic change and the strong preserving power relating to the sacred content of religious language renders religious language a unique object of study for linguists, theologians, exegetes and others.
Contents: Kurt Feyaerts: Introduction – Lieven Boeve: Linguistica ancilla Theologiae: The Interest of Fundamental Theology in Cognitive Semantics – Pierre Van Hecke: To Shepherd, Have Dealings and Desire: On the Lexical Structure of the Hebrew Root rʿh – Olaf Jäkel: How Can Mortal Man Understand the Road He Travels? Prospects and Problems of the Cognitive Approach to Religious Metaphor – Greg Johnson: The Economies of Grace as Gift and Moral Accounting: Insights from Cognitive Linguistics – Ralph Bisschops: Are Religious Metaphors Rooted in Experience? On Ezekiel’s Wedding Metaphors – Brian Doyle: How Do Single Isotopes Meet? ‘Lord it’ (b'l) or ‘Eat it’ (bl'): A Rare Word Play Metaphor in Isaiah 25 – Kjell Magne Yri: Recreating Religion. The Translation of Central Religious Terms in the Light of a Cognitive Approach to Semantics – Kristin De Troyer: ‘And God Was Created...’. On Translating Hebrew into Greek – Katrin Hauspie: The Contribution of Semantic Flexibility to Septuagint Greek Lexicography – David Tuggy: The Literal-Idiomatic Bible Translation Debate from the Perspective of Cognitive Grammar – Eugene A. Nida: A Contextualist Approach to Biblical Interpretation.