Guest Lecture: Mysticism and Metaphors. The Spanish Mystic Poets of the Spanish Golden Age (16th – 17th centuries)
CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)
Guest Lecture by Rodrigo García Bergareche (Complutense University of Madrid)
During the presentation, I will resume my research, which mainly reflects on metaphors, meaning and the grasping of an understanding beyond the limits of the intellect. The mystic Spanish Golden Age corpus will be used to carry out this work.
My investigation looks at ineffability and the mystical paradox of address, which is a central issue in mystical discourse. On many occasions, Santa Teresa de Jesús and San Juan de la Cruz, who are both discalced Carmelites monks and important representatives of Spanish mystical poetry of the 16th century, mentioned the lack of words in their theoretical writings or even in their artistic works. Ultimately, Miguel de Molinos, a theologist and mystical poet of the 17th century and promoter of Quietism, even advocated for surrendering to silence. Therefore, I address the mystical ineffability through metaphors. My main line of research follows the classic bibliography based on Ricoeur and Blumenberg, who stated metaphors as a re-description of the world, which is essential when it comes to conceptualising some aspects of reality. In this context, the cognitive school of Lakoff and Johnson will be examined since conceptual metaphors are indispensable for the production and communication of knowledge (even more when the referent is hidden).
Finally, I will analyse the metaphors used by these Spanish mystic poets from this cognitive perspective. Taking into account both the tradition from which they come and their unique aspects.