11 April 2011
Metaphor as Denominator
We can know each culture by the type of its metaphor(s), be they religion, literature, film, legend, etc. For example, Freud recognized that patriarchal societies had daddy issues (although he incorrectly thought that this was universal). I feel like this is an overlooked research area in sociology, and I'd like to remedy this in the future. I think Stark's "Values and Beliefs of the American Public" survey is a good start--or perhaps a proxy--for what I envision. It's not so much what people purport to believe about the personality of their god but the stories themselves that they tell about their god. You can imagine the differences between a person who latches on to a story about a god who makes people suffer for their iniquities and a person who embraces a story about a god who suffers for all of humanity.