Image and Metaphor

Heading in the Right Direction

Heading in the Right Direction

Metaphors shape the way we think. Metaphors shape how we make decisions. Metaphors allow us to experience one thing in terms of something else. The following is a sermon produced by a student in a course I teach on metaphor theory. The assignment was to put the basic elements of metaphor theory to use in […]

Paul and Lydia

Paul and Lydia

By Justin Rossow Sometimes you preach a metaphor IN the text. And sometimes you preach a metaphor FOR the text. In Acts 16, Paul meets Lydia at a river. A literal river. Nothing metaphorical about it. But the sermon below takes the image of a river–of tubing and whitewater rafting on a river–as a metaphor […]

Focus on the New Creation

Focus on the New Creation

The family has gathered. We ride the ups and down of sudden changes in breathing or consciousness. We share stories and pictures. We are waiting for Dad, my father-in-law Jim, to die. As I look out the back door to the lake, I am struck by the beauty of these summer days. The sun shines. […]

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

If you know even the basics of contemporary metaphor theory, then you know that in the metaphor “Richard is a gorilla,” what we know (or think we know) about gorillas is the “Source domain.” The metaphor works by taking what we know and expect and how we reason about gorillas and mapping those inferences and […]

Night Vision Goggles and Blended Spaces

Night Vision Goggles and Blended Spaces

One of my favorite Super Bowl ads is also a good example not only of metaphor theory in advertising, but of a phenomenon called “mental space blending.” Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner developed the theory of cognitive blending in their book The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities.  For my money, I prefer […]

Smoking Kills (Don’t Be an Idiot!)

Smoking Kills (Don’t Be an Idiot!)

Metaphor works by mapping narrative inference structure from one domain of knowledge or experience to another. This kind of cross-domain mapping can of course be accomplished through words, but because metaphor is primarily a function of thought rather than language, we should expect to find the dynamics of metaphor not only in the things we […]

Biblical Images for Worship

Biblical Images for Worship

These images connect the elements of worship with the story of Scripture. As we place God’s name on God’s people in the Invocation, we are taken back to the burning bush, the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the Wilderness Wandering, and our own baptism. From the images related to Confession and Absolution, to the song of […]