Ontological Metaphors for Moral Concepts in the Bible: Introduction


  • Eldar Veremchuk Zaporizhzhia National University, Ukraine




elaboration of metaphor, extension of metaphor, mapping, source domain, target domain


The article reveals the peculiarities of ontological mappings involving ethical concepts in the text of the Bible. The paper hypothesizes that ethical concepts as abstract phenomena are understood as physical entities and living beings, therefore there must be corresponding metaphorical projections, which underlie their conceptualization. The metaphor is viewed from two perspectives: within the classical and conceptual metaphor theories. From the perspective of the classical theory, metaphor is a literary expressive means, part of figurative language, which consists in using one word instead of the other for the sake of drawing attention or attaining poetic or elevated style. From the conceptual perspective, metaphor is a way humans perceive and conceptualize the objective reality by means of understanding complex abstract ideas or phenomena on the basis of some simple concrete things from the central life experience. This is carried out by means of projection of the source domain features onto the target domain, the latter being more complex than the former. Ontological metaphoric transferences with the target ethical concepts, which are found in the Bible involve two superordinate source domains: PERSON and THING. The extension of these two primary metaphors, which make up the central mapping is represented by a number of hyponymic domains, each of which is discussed separately. Besides the extension, the article pays special attention to the elaboration of metaphors, which involves the extension of the conceptual zone and projection of other source domain features, different from the central ones. The research infers the conclusion that the use of cross-domain mappings plays an important role in conveying ontological and deontological messages since such type of narrative helps to deliver the essential message to the broader audience most efficiently as the more complex moral implications expressed in this way are conceived through simpler ideas and notions.


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14. 12. 2022




How to Cite

Veremchuk, E. (2022). Ontological Metaphors for Moral Concepts in the Bible: Introduction. Acta Neophilologica, 55(1-2), 177-191. https://doi.org/10.4312/an.55.1-2.177-191