Meaningfulness of Religious Language in the Light of Conceptual Metaphorical Use of Image Schema: A Cognitive Semantic Approach

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Iranian Association for Philosophy of Religion

2 Iranian educational administration


According to modern religious studies, religions are rooted in certain metaphorical representations, so they are metaphorical in nature. This article aims to show, first, how conceptual metaphors employ image schemas to make our language meaningful, and then to assert that image-schematic structure of religious expressions, by which religious metaphors conceptualize abstract meanings, is the basis of meaningfulness of religious language. Authors benefit from cognitive theories of some eminent semanticists, such as Mark Johnson, Jean Mandler, George Lakoff, et al., on metaphors. There are, as described by cognitive semantics, many preconceptual patterns that constitute a network of meaningful image-schemata upon which our primary knowledge is grounded. It is argued that image-schemata are inherently meaningful, and conceptual metaphors by using these image-schemata transmit the meaningfulness to the religious representations.


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