Manipulative rhetoric in 17th and 18th century sermons: aporia, the borders of reason

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Title: Manipulative rhetoric in 17th and 18th century sermons: aporia, the borders of reason
Authors: Garrigós González, Cristina
Keywords: Religious sermons | Rhetorical manipulation | Persuasion | Aporia | 17th-18th centuries
Knowledge Area: Filología Inglesa
Issue Date: Nov-2009
Publisher: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Citation: GARRIGÓS GONZÁLEZ, Cristina. “Manipulative rhetoric in 17th and 18th century sermons: aporia, the borders of reason”. Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses. No. 22 (Nov. 2009). ISSN 0214-4808, pp. 99-114
Abstract: It is my aim in this paper to explore the role of aporia as a rhetorical instrument that is used in religious sermons in order to manipulate the audience and try to convince them of a truth derived from the textual evidence of the Bible. In this context, aporia appears as a rhetorical figure by which the speaker expresses to be in doubt about a question, or presents an insoluble paradox or contradiction in the text’s meaning. I believe that the function of aporia in religious sermons has never been analysed as yet. To that extent, I will illustrate my thesis with three examples by John Donne, Jonathan Edwards and Laurence Sterne, three preachers who, faced with an insurmountable border – the necessity of explaining rationally the ineffable – recur to aporia in their discourses. It is my contention that the three sermons that I will discuss here exemplify what Derrida called the “plural logic of aporia” and show different ways in which the ministers can manipulate their audience to make them reach a certain truth, by convincing them of the impossibility to have access to that truth by themselves, therefore relying on the final authority of the Bible.
URI: |
ISSN: 0214-4808
DOI: 10.14198/raei.2009.22.07
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Peer Review: si
Appears in Collections:Revistas - Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses - 2009, No. 22

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