Language, Religion, and the Problem of the Real
Keywords:Cognitive Linguistics, Ecocriticism, Embeddedness, Merleau-Ponty, Non-human Realm, Poststructuralism
Abstract: Word, whether it is known as logos or Vak, has been assumed by many religious traditions as at once the source and the agency unifying God, the human, and the world. Yet, the philosophical history that reached a high point with poststructuralism has come to view human language as separate from other realms jeopardising the sense of unity among these spheres. An integral vision involving everyone is crucial for ecological ethics and a sustainable universe. Human attitude to the non-human realm, exploitative or benevolent, is predicated on the way they textualise the world. Such a textualising enterprise broadly has taken either the representationalist or the dissociative trajectories. Both the approaches fall short in terms of the ecological ethics geared to a sustainable world. Studies in cognitive linguistics, the philosophical approach taken by Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of language and ecological approaches seem to converge on an integral vision which is very close to the primaeval religious vision. Such a vision is germane to a sustainable eco-centred life, as much as they offer theoretical rigour for engaging the non-human sphere.
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