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A clash of gods – Conceptualising space in Daniel 1

J. Jacobus de Bruyn
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a1956 | DOI: | © 2014 J. Jacobus de Bruyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2013 | Published: 25 February 2014

About the author(s)

J. Jacobus de Bruyn, School of Ancient Languages and Text Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


Applying cognitive linguistics to the text of Daniel 1 is a useful exegetical aid for a better understanding of the narrative. Studying the author’s use of ‘spatial markers’ such as ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Babylon’, ‘temple’ and some other spatial features, makes it possible to reconstruct the narrative into a ‘cognitive spatial frameset’. In this particular exegetical frameset, Daniel 1 can be described as a narrated confrontation between Yahweh and the gods of Babylon. Within this conflict between deities, Daniel, the divine agent becomes a spatial embodiment of Yahweh’s power and authority to act inside a hostile, non-Israelite environment and at the same time undermines the authority of the Babylonian gods.


cognitive linguistics; Daniel 1; spatial markers; exegetical


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