The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Wordle Analysis of the Popes

Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 31, 2013 - 9:53am

Via Jeff Rice, a website about visualization:


Ratzinger (Benedict) to Resign as Pope

Submitted by syntaxfactory on February 11, 2013 - 7:41am

Pope Benedict is to resign, the first Pope to resign since the middle ages.

To me, politically, Ratzinger was a mistake. Doctrinally, maybe not -- I am not qualified to answer, as a lapsed Catholic who would need a full-on embrace of Rudolf Bultmann's claims to demythologize the New Testament to be brought back into the fold. Unlikely.


Discussion of Rhetoric Research in Religious Communication Context

Submitted by syntaxfactory on January 11, 2013 - 11:28am

There has been a recent discussion of a QJS article on the Religious Communication Association listserv. I paste the messages, anonymously, below, so you can see something of the tenor. I want to be very clear: the initial conversation is not an attack, but a genuine questioning, as I read it.


Rhetoric and Religion: Specific Questions

Submitted by syntaxfactory on April 24, 2012 - 10:46pm

So let's get down to brass tacks:
The NCA Distinguished Scholar Award winners are listed below. If the winner listed is dead and you know their religious affiliation and feel comfortable sharing it, please do. If YOU are one of the winners listed below and you feel comfortable sharing your religious affiliation, please do.

Will this help? I don't know. There's a passage in a book edited by Van Eemeren in which Wenzel claims that he and Brockriede basically "invented" the same distinction in rhetorical studies at the same time (1978). Woot, I guess. But what if we learned that biographically, they come from different religious traditions --does that give us a hermeneutic to offer texture to distinguish their common innovations? When Gronbeck calls Ehninger a Modernist Rhetorician, does that contain within it implicit claims about orientation toward religion? Or could it be inflected if we understood something about Ehninger's religious orientation?


Rhetoric and Religion

Submitted by syntaxfactory on April 20, 2012 - 10:43am

David Gore and I are finishing an essay for a collection assembled by Jacqueline McLeod Rodgers (of U/Winnipeg) about Marshall McLuhan and Christianity.

That, plus a recent conversation about Booth's mormonism, made me think: how many other 20th and 21st century rhetorical theorists and critics might be unexpectedly religious in their orientation to the world, and I in my secular blinders missed it?



Intelligent Design, Less than Intelligent Editorial Decisions

Submitted by syntaxfactory on April 29, 2011 - 6:47am

From the Leiter Reports:

Synthese Editors Cave in to Pressure from the Intelligent Design Lobby: Philosophers Should Boycott Synthese


Is Evangelicalism Collapsing?

Submitted by Michael Faris on March 22, 2009 - 7:19pm

What do you all think? Is Michael Spencer at AlterNet right that Evangelicalism is collapsing? There seems to me to be some truth in it, but it also seems to be part of the ongoing narrative that the Right is a failure and is collapsing (something I can't quite bring myself to believe, what with the Democrats' failure to offer much of a strong cultural narrative to keep the country "on their side," unless Obama proves to be a stronger uniter than other Dems).


Thinking of Mumbai

Submitted by Jim Brown on November 28, 2008 - 12:46pm

I'm sure many Blogora readers are following the Mumbai situation closely and wondering how one might have hope for discussion, discourse, rhetoric...

I am distrubed by Marty Peretz's rant about "the reasonable Islam":



Submitted by Jim Brown on April 16, 2008 - 10:11pm

This image comes via Bitch Ph.D.:
front page of the New York Times, zoomed in on stories about Supreme Court decision about death penalty and a visit by the Pope


Tom Cruise on Scientology

Submitted by Jim Brown on January 15, 2008 - 4:08pm

If you watch one viral video this hour, make sure it's this one! Tom Cruise rambles about Scientology. Note the Mission Impossible music playing on a loop throughout this clip - this makes it nerve-wracking to watch. The Church of Scientology has done all it can to keep this video from getting around, but the Gawker is sticking to its guns and hosting the video.