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Guest Lecture

Metaphor Talk

CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)

Dr. Monika Kopytowska (University of Lodz)

"Worshipping in “Super-time” and “Super-space”: Metaphors, Proximization, and Religious Practice"

Bringing together the cognitive, social and emotional aspects of religious practice in the digital age this paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding the religion-language-media interface, and, in particular, the role which metaphors play in creating the sacred space, sacred time and a sense of communion. In our Media Proximization Approach (Kopytowska 2018, 2022), we argue that technology allows seekers of communion and spiritual experience to satisfy their compulsion of proximity with both the sacred and other believers/worshippers, enabling proximization on a vertical and horizontal level respectively. In the center of this mechanism – cognitive in nature and necessarily social in its implications – we place the techno-discursive manipulations of several dimensions of distance, viz. spatial, temporal, epistemic, axiological, and emotional ones, contingent, among others, on metaphorical conceptualizations and technological affordances of various media, which make it possible to “transport” believers into “worship spaces” of all kinds and offer them a sense of communal experience.

Kopytowska, M. 2022. Proximizing the Sacred: On Symbols, Rituals, and Distance, In M. Kopytowska, A. Gałkowski, L. Massimo (eds.), Thought-Sign-Symbol. Cross-Cultural Representations of Religion,  59-87. Frankfurt am main: Peter Lang Publishing.
Kopytowska, M. 2018. The televisualization of ritual: spirituality, spatiality and co-presence in religious broadcasting. In P. Chilton and M. Kopytowska (eds.), Religion, language and human mind, 437–473. New York: Oxford University Press.

Affiliated Persons

Photograph of Maren Jordan M.A.

Maren Jordan M.A.


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.08
+49 234 32-21982
Photograph of Dr. Tim Karis

Dr. Tim Karis


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.10
+49 234 32-25492