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Finding Our Way: The Source Domain WAY in Metaphors of Religion (DIF workshop)


CERES-Palais, Raum "Ruhrpott" (4.13)

Picture: Martino Pietropoli / Unsplash

The DIF workshop aims at bringing together the different subprojects that make up section A of the CRC, as well as other interested members, by looking at the diverse concepts of WAYs present in their respective sources.

While metaphors pertaining to the source domain of WAY are present in all the subprojects, concrete conceptualizations might differ: from the straight path laid out by God (in Islam) to the way of salvation (in Daoism), from a path made up of successive steps (in Tibetan Buddhism) to a bridge (in Zoroastrianism). We will ask how these different types of ways are metaphorized in concrete terms. For instance, one cannot only proceed on a path in a forward direction, but one can also turn around (with positive or negative connotations) or go astray. A way can be even or ascending, it might be circular or crooked. Besides that, the way can have a clear destination, link different realms (e.g., this world and the hereafter), or moving on it could be an end in itself. Is it possible to find metaphors that situate the way in specific landscapes, such as mountains, deserts, towns, or even heaven? Another question would be the target domain: what does the way stand for in the various religious traditions? It may be religion as such (the Dao), a pious life, an inner state, a spiritual transition, and much else besides.

These and further questions will be discussed in a comparative manner as a first exchange between subprojects to individuate commonalities and divergences and find starting points for subsequent common research.

Please contact the coordination team if you want to take part in the workshop.