David Brooks wrote a beautiful essay called “Poetry for Everyday Life” about metaphor in language. He discussed the different kinds of metaphor that we use when talking about different things — food metaphors for ideas, health metaphors for relationships, war metaphors for arguments, liquid metaphors for money.
As I was reading, I wondered if he would talk about metaphor in religion, which he did, quite beautifully. He began: “Metaphors are things we pass down from generation to generation, which transmit a culture’s distinct way of seeing and being in the world.”
He went on to talks about metaphor in Judaism. Instead of telling you all about it, here’s a link. It’s well worth your time.
And here’s a link to his blog, if you’re interested: http://brooks.blogs.nytimes.com/