Metaphorization of Space in Biblical Psalms: Spiritual Motion of the Living and the Dead
Danijel Berković ; Biblical institute, Zagreb
Boris Beck ; The Faculty of Political Science, Zagreb
|Full text: english PDF||pg. 31-44|
This work examines conceptual metaphors of space in biblical Psalms and in relation to the psalmist’s personal emotive and theological message which the psalmodic text intends to convey. Language of space and motion is in so many ways crucial for human existential as well as a religious experience. The psalmist reveals and presents his complex existential as well as his theological challenges through a set of conceptual metaphors of space. Orientational metaphors form a specific mental space where the antipodes of up/down and left/right enable the psalmist to express himself in spiritual terms as well. For the biblical psalmist situations of his disorientation are fairly frequent, whether caused by feelings of his sins or social injustices. After all, he yearns for a moral and spiritual re-orientation. While the Euclidean space is homogeneous, in that space biblical psalmist experiences discontinuity for certain parts of this imaginary space is qualitatively different. Namely, the divisions of such non-Euclidean space rest qualitatively on the division between the sacred and the profane. For the psalmist, such division of space rests on some key terms, such as Temple, Heaven, and Underworld. This is followed by the orientational metaphors as up/down. God is up (heavens), man is down below (earth). In eschatological terms, it is the sovereign heavenly judge who will act upon the dividing between the good and the evil ones, between the left and the right, on the horizontal plane. Since that which is above is better than that which is below and underneath, so is the right side better than that which is on the left.
psalms, conceptual metaphor, space, orientation, sacred, profane