Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Kathryn M. Olson
William M. Keith, Leslie J. Harris, John W. Jordan, Duane S. Long
Kenneth Burke, North Carolina, Political Action Rhetoric, Religious Rhetoric, Theology
THEOLOGY, LOGIC, AND RHETORIC:
THE RHETORICAL PRACTICES OF THEOLOGY IN POLITICAL ACTION SPEECHES OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CLERGY
James W. Vining
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2016
Under the Supervision of Professor Kathryn Olson
In this dissertation, I contribute to scholarly conversations about religion and political action rhetoric by revealing the important complexities and abundance of rhetorical resources found in various theologies. Through close textual analyses of three political action speeches by contemporary clergy members in North Carolina and the identification of key theological emphases in those texts, this dissertation displays that there is not simply one way that religion functions in political rhetoric, but a variety of ways flowing, in part, from the constraints and animation from textual theologies serving as the texts’ interpretive framework. I propose that theology is a more helpful focus than religion, or spirituality, for rhetorical analysis because theology provides an actual material discourse about God and God’s interactions with the world for a critic to analyze as it manifests in a particular text. Textual theologies have power in a text and specific textual theologies have specific powers. This dissertation argues that different theologies offer varied resources, constraints, and patterns, and merit careful consideration by rhetorical scholars.
Vining, James William, "Theology, Logic, and Rhetoric: the Rhetorical Practices of Theology in Political Action Speeches of Contemporary American Clergy" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 1219.