Publication details [#5785]

Kuschnerus, Bernd. 2002. Die Gemeinde als Brief Christi. Die kommunikative Struktur der Metapher bei Paulus am Beispiel von 2Kor 2-5. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 398 pp.


The author investigates the metaphor "you yourselves are our letter" (2 Kor, 3f), by which Paul addresses the community of Corinth, who asked the apostle for letters of recommendation. The author stresses the total absence of similarity between the two poles of the metaphorical statement. The notions of analogy and similarity are therefore useless in the interpretation of such a metaphor. In the case of Paulinic metaphor the clash of incompatible meanings leads to the disclosure of a totally new realm of meaning, which the author terms as the "saving alternative". In the case of the metaphor "You are my letter" a prerequisite for the success of the metaphorical statement is its cooperative interpretation by the religious community, which, if it accepts the metaphor, comes to view itself in a totally new way. In such cases metaphor develops the possibility of experiences which cannot be derived from reality. The possibility of unfolding those radically new experiences is rooted in the death and the resurrection of Christ, which the author calls the 'basic metaphor' of Paulinic discourse i.e. the paradigm standing for a new interpretation of the world. (Ralph Bisschops)