Religious Dialectics of Pain and Imagination
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This book explores the possibility of a "liberatory postmodern rhetoric" or, alternatively, a "postmodern liberation rhetoric. " The author turns to one of the most ancient disciplines, rhetoric, in order to address a most contemporary concern: how can humans imagine new and better worlds when surrounded by unspeakable pain?
After a foray into key terms—rhetoric, postmodern, liberation, pain, imagination, religion—the author places into conversation the theory and practice of four contemporary rhetoricians, two postmoderns, Kenneth Burke and Thomas Merton, and two liberationists, Paulo Freire of Brazil and Oscar Romero of El Salvador.
Bradford T. Stull is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University-East.
"There are many things I like about this book. First, and above all, it is concerned with how to be a responsible human being in the contemporary world, and the author's voice is appropriate to that concern: honest, intelligent, compassionate. Second, the book, ambitiously, aims to bring into dialogue two of the most powerful groups of theory on the scene at present. This is to tackle two major questions of pressing concern to many: on the one hand, can or does postructuralist theory have an ethic; on the other, how limiting is the particularity on which liberationist theories are based. Third, I like the author's choice of rhetoric and dialectic as a way to stage this confrontation and to address the ethical questions that concern him. " — Lynn Poland, Davidson College