Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evangelical Rhetoric as Organizational Advocacy: Preaching Social Justice to Millennials
by Martinez, Jason C., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2017, 127; 10686945
Abstract (Summary)

This study aims to examine the rhetoric used by evangelical leaders to promote their organizations and to gain the support of Millennials. Multiple YouTube videos depicting different forms of public appeals are analyzed for four evangelical leaders: Ravi Zacharias, Timothy Keller, Jeremy Courtney, and Shane Claiborne. Cluster analysis is the primary methodology for examination of the rhetoric of both the individual speaker and the organization each represents. Additionally, ideographs of these leaders are pinpointed in the course of the analysis and compared to concepts related to social justice, a value commonly associated with Millennials. The implications of types of appeals, language choices, and common ideographs for evangelical, Christian identities are discussed and examined along a historical continuum. This analysis finds the four individuals in the study primarily utilize emotional appeals and Burke’s identification to gain support from both the individual and the collective as they expand the potentiality for what qualifies as American evangelicalism. Whereas Zacharias and Courtney aim their appeals primarily at Millennial individuals seeking to fulfill existential needs, Keller and Claiborne address Millennials as a group seeking to re-imagine (or rediscover) evangelicalism as inclusive and theologically sophisticated. Finally, this research concludes with an assessment of new evangelicalism, the limitations of this study, and suggestions for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Short, Calvin B.
Commitee: Kruger, Benjamin, Mahaffey, Jerome
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Pastoral Counseling, Communication, Rhetoric
Keywords: Advocacy, Communication, Evangelical, Millennials, Organization, Rhetoric
Publication Number: 10686945
ISBN: 978-0-355-56816-5
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