The Conceptualisation of Life in Nursi’s Damascus Sermon

Nur Sakinah Thomas, Vahid Nimehchisalem, Zalina Mohd Kasim, Hakan Gülerce


Conceptual metaphor is a mapping of systematic correspondence between two conceptual domains which are target domain and source domain. It has been studied vastly ever since Lakoff and Johnson’s ground breaking work of Metaphors We Live By. In this study, the conceptual metaphor utilised by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s (1877-1960) in his Damascus Sermon that relates to life is examined. The method of analysis is qualitative research through an explanatory case study which is based on Conceptual Metaphor Theory by Lakoff and Johnson (1980). Based on this theory, conceptual metaphor is a cognitive mechanism that helps us structure our understanding of everyday experience. The findings revealed the conceptual metaphor LIFE IS A SCHOOL as a predominant metaphor that underlines many metaphorical linguistic expressions in the Sermon. The findings also revealed the creative ways in which Nursi has used the conceptual metaphor to persuade his audience. This study provides some useful insights into how conceptual metaphor is used in sermons and other similar discourses. The findings can benefit orators, authors and public speakers about the importance of conceptualising metaphors to influence the audience for a lasting impression.


Conceptual Metaphor; Source Domain; Target Domain; Bediuzzaman Said Nursi; Damascus Sermon

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