Religious Rhetorics is a collaboration between rhetoricians K.M. Camper and Kari J. (Lundgren) Tremeryn, founded in November 2008. Our aim is to offer rhetorical analysis to an audience beyond the Academy by bringing scholarly rhetorical principles to religious texts. Our focus is on the role of different kinds of Christianity on the contemporary American political scene.
Religion and rhetoric have an age-old relationship, because insofar as humans are language-users, they must use language to express their religious beliefs. To say that religion is rhetorical is not necessarily to say that is false, or manipulative; it is simply to say that all truth, religious or otherwise, must be expressed through language.
Religious rhetoric may be manipulative and misleading; it may also be moving and edifying. And regardless, the language chosen to express religion affects the meaning of the concepts expressed. Religion is never simply a matter of eternal truth brought to earth; it is inevitably mediated by language.
In the American political scene, religion plays a large role, whether in discussions of politicians’ qualifications for office, arguments about public policies, moral statements from church leaders, or other like ways. Analyzing the religious rhetoric at work in American politics is therefore a fruitful and necessary endeavor for understanding both contemporary political and religious life in the U.S.