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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.24 no.1 Pretoria  2011


The path image schema as underlying structure for the metaphor moral life is a journey in Psalm 25



Alec Basson

University of Stellenbosch





Metaphorical language abounds in the Psalter. Metaphors are employed to describe the gamut of human experience. In the Psalms, both profane and sacred realities are perceived and comprehended in terms of metaphors. Through metaphor, the poet is able to reason about aspects of life that would otherwise remain inexpressible and incomprehensible. The description of moral life/conduct in Psalm 25 is a case in point. In this psalm, moral life is presented as a journey along a particular path the poet is walking on. This article argues that the metaphor moral life is a journey arises from the poet's recurring bodily experience of movement/motion in the world. Cognitively, the poet utilises the path image schema to depict his moral conduct (living according to the covenant stipulations of Yahweh) as a journey. Thus, this image schema, which underlies and structures his abstract thoughts, gives rise to the metaphor moral life is a journey.



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Dr Alec Basson
Department of Ancient Studies, University of Stellenbosch
Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7620

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