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ERIC Number: ED165207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Death of a Rhetorical Vision: Disciples of Christ and Social Change.
Hensley, Carl Wayne
The Disciples of Christ, an indigenous American religious movement born on the frontier, grew rapidly until early in the twentieth century. Its growth was based on a rhetorical vision that offered a plausible interpretation of the data of the senses and accounted for developments in human activity and conditions. That rhetorical vision was linked to democratic political fantasies of the worth of the individual and of rural-agrarian supremacy. It decayed from a dynamic drama of restoration of the pristine New Testament church to a rigid structure of institutionalization. Faith and imagination go together, translating spiritual truths into the fantasy world view of the culture, and while ultimate truths remain constant, the rhetorical approach must change. Liberal and conservative Disciples lost sight of this principle and lost most of the persuasiveness enjoyed in the early days. When the vision fragmented in the conflict with cultural change and the new European theology, most of its millennial eschatology faded out. A religious rhetoric that neglects the eschatological frame of reference is not true to the biblical message nor to the needs of modern people. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Disciples of Christ
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (64th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2-5, 1978)