Thrice Bornby Michael J. Giuliano
In February 1988, Jimmy Swaggart, the world's most watched televangelist, was caught consorting with a prostitute in New Orleans. This study examines Swaggart's rhetorical campaign to salvage his ministry in the aftermath of those actions. By analyzing his sermons, letters, and magazine articles the work seeks to discover the rationale that Swaggart offered his doctrinal community to justify the claim, "I am worthy of forgiveness and continued support".
Using Stephen Toulmin's model of informal argument as a tool to unlock the shared worldview of rhetor and audience, this study argues that Swaggart's overt stance, "I am solely to blame for what I did", was not the conclusion his primary audience would reach. Using stories and doctrinal arguments, Swaggart successfully argued that he was not at fault for his actions, that his actions could accurately be blamed on other individuals, and that the entire ordeal would lead to an improved Swaggart. Yet because the arguments were part of the Pentecostal worldview shared by speaker and audience, many parts of the arguments were left unspoken. As such, they were completely missed by many outside observers.
- Mercer University Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
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