Accounting for the Divine

July 27, 2011

My latest academic study was published in the Journal of Communication and Religion. The citation for the article is:

Kaylor, B. T. (2011). Accounting for the divine: Examining rhetorical claims of God's inspiration. Journal of Communication and Religion, 34, 75-88.
The article is not yet available online, but here is the abstract:
One of the most significant aspects of Christian rhetoric that sets it apart from secular communication is the claim made by rhetors of God's inspiration. God often provides motivation or inspiration for the rhetoric (at least in the mind of the rhetor), and is usually viewed by the rhetor as one of the audiences that will judge them and their message. However, studies of religious communication generally do not take such claims of inspiration into account. This essay calls upon scholars to consider the rhetorical impact of the perceived role and presence of God. This essay offers that claims of divine inspiration should be considered by scholars in their religious communication research, including analysis of three examples to demonstrate what this scholarship should involve.
The three cases I analyzed in the article are Kanye West's controversial comments about George W. Bush following Hurricane Katrina, some inaccurate prophesies offered by Pat Robertson, and Carrie Prejean's comments on same-sex marriage during the 2009 Miss USA competition.