Evangelical confessions: an ideological struggle over evangelical political identity Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • King, Amy Laine
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • For the last several years, conservative evangelicals have been aligned with a conservative political agenda. Advancing an alternative view, progressive evangelical voices have consistently objected to this partisan expression of evangelical faith, a position that is finally resonating with a significant portion of evangelicals. Evangelical political identity is currently experiencing an ideological struggle as conservatives and progressives argue over rhetorical approach, public policy, and political priorities. This dissertation will critique selected rhetorical texts of conservatives and progressives, situated within the history of evangelical political participation in the United States. The genre of prophetic rhetoric, Kenneth Burke's notion of mortification, and Maurice Charland's conception of constitutive rhetoric will be used to interpret the rhetorical styles represented by conservative and progressive evangelicals. I will specifically consider the dialectics of climate change, gay marriage, and compassion to illustrate that although both formations of evangelicalism appropriate elements of the prophetic tradition, progressives do so more consistently. Moreover, by engaging in culture war rhetoric, conservatives contradict their prophetic consciousness. Ultimately, I will argue that the radical reform advanced by progressives is inspiring a transformation of evangelical political identity as they seek to rearticulate evangelical discourse and therefore constitute a transformed evangelical subject.
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  • Balthrop, V. William
  • Open access

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