Mysticism- & Religion-Aligned Discourses


Trusting more in what has been revealed than what has been discerned and interpreted

Principal Metaphors

  • Knowledge is … ideal or factual truths that are “out there,” resident in the universe
  • Knowing is … one’s mastery/awareness of knowledge
  • Learner is … a receptacle; incomplete being
  • Learning is … acquiring; attaining
  • Teaching is … relaying, shaping shepherding, illuminating




Western Mysticism- & Religion-Aligned Discourses, while diverse and varied, tend to embrace and perpetuate some rather specific beliefs about learning and teaching. In particular, there is a pervasive assumption that all truth is pre-existent and present out in the universe – resident in an ideal realm, or in a creator’s mind, inscribed in material forms, and so on.


That assumption about knowledge calls forward the most prominent and resistant metaphors on learning in English, including the Attainment Metaphor, the Illumination Metaphor, and the Acquisition Metaphor, which it sets the stage for a grab back of Folk Theories and many, somewhat-more-formal theories that are, in the main, in attentive to their uncritical embrace of metaphors tethered to Mysticism- & Religion-Aligned Discourses.

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Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2021). “Mysticism- & Religion-Aligned Discourses” in Discourses on Learning in Education.

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