Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Efficacy of Religious Rhetoric

As many writers know, most humans are perpetually affected-whether directly or tangentially-by religion and the rhetoric that is used to discuss it. Because this is the case, it is important for writers to tap into the power that referencing realities pertaining to religion-such as liberation theology and social conformance-can play in generating interest and/or understanding in the mind of one's audience.

Although there are many writers who have made efficacious use of religious rhetoric to emphasize their point, few seem to parallel the efforts exacted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his"Letter From A Birmingham Jail." While MLK's use of language throughout the letter was efficacious in unveiling the indigenously spiritual import of race relations during the Civil Rights Era, the third paragraph of the piece sutures together the religious implications of his arguments in a unique and effective way. In detailing why he was in Birmingham, King stated that his purpose was to address the injustice present in the city. Elaborating on this concept, the pastor wrote:

"Just as the eighth-century prophets left their little villages and
carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of
their hometowns; and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village
of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically
every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled
to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular hometown.
Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."

Read the rest here

No comments: