Piety and intolerance: A rhetorical inquiry into the constituting of Christian fundamentalist identity
“Piety and Intolerance: A Rhetorical Inquiry Into the Constituting of Christian Fundamentalist Identity” explores the connection between fundamentalist texts and the promotion of prejudice—prejudice defined as intolerance, discrimination, and “negative intergroup attitude[s]” toward outsiders. Studies suggest a relationship between religious fundamentalism and prejudice; however, no study has found conclusively what links them. In response, this study analyzes and interprets passages from two fundamentalist texts in order to locate link/s between the texts' rhetorical elements and their effects on constituting an exclusive fundamentalist identity that positions outsiders as God's enemies. I argue that epideictic rhetoric and the enthymeme, employed as a mode of argument, shape intolerant attitudes, encouraging group identification with those attitudes. This dissertation begins by generalizing the Waco tragedy: How did the Branch Davidians and the FBI come to see each other as adversaries? Chapter One discusses the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin, Kenneth Burke, and Chaim Perelman in connection with how humans come to identify with cultural attitudes and values. Chapter Two explains the probable role epideictic rhetoric and the enthymeme play in constituting Christian fundamentalist identification with their religious values. Chapter Three presents the core enthymeme—the inerrancy doctrine—fundamentalist discourse uses to support its religious values. Chapter Four illustrates the process by which a fundamentalist Bible study uses enthymemes to shape a prejudicial attitudinal complex. Chapter Five discusses applications of this project to the composition classroom. Chapter Six takes a look at my former membership in a Christian fundamentalist church community. ^
Religion, General|Education, Religious|Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Mary K Cardinale,
"Piety and intolerance: A rhetorical inquiry into the constituting of Christian fundamentalist identity"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).