The Rhetoric of Pope John Paul II: The Pastoral Visit as a New Vocabulary of the Sacred

By Margaret B. Melady | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Textual Analysis: Symbol Choice

METAPHORIC CLUSTERS

Roderick Hart characterizes rhetorical imagery by movement. Persuasion aims to move auditors to agreement. Imagery, particularly metaphoric imagery, moves meaning from the literal to a range of relational possibilities. 1 Rhetorical critics have discovered how metaphorical concepts which relate one kind of thing in terms of another in an audience's experience can form a coherent system, structuring meaning toward that one relational concept. 2 The predominant metaphor can vision and reduce options. 3 At the same time, metaphoric concepts are never totally structured, only partially structured, because one concept can never be the other, only understood in terms of the other.

Metaphors have a special function in religious meaning. The sacred other can never be completely and literally described by terms of actual human experience. Nevertheless, humans construct images of God by describing the sacred in terms of another human experience. Metaphorical language attempts to make the complex and indiscernible more simple, more concrete, channeling the meaning in a certain direction. However, the channeling can never be complete because the term used to describe the other is never literally equal to the other. Humanly constructed images of the divine are also incomplete or "broken" because there will always remain a blockage between the sacred and human conceptions of it. Moreover, the infinite cannot be limited to one particular form. 4 A religious metaphor attempts to describe the sacred

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The Rhetoric of Pope John Paul II: The Pastoral Visit as a New Vocabulary of the Sacred
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter I - Introduction 1
  • Notes 14
  • Chapter 2 - Between the Sacred and Chaos 17
  • Notes 27
  • Chapter 3 - Background to the Visits 31
  • Notes 51
  • Chapter 4 - Sensing the Faithful 53
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 5 - Textual Address: Audience Identification and Characterization 99
  • Notes 132
  • Chapter 6 - Textual Analysis: Symbol Choice 139
  • Notes 168
  • Chapter 7 - Visits as Performance 175
  • Chapter 8 - Push and Pull of Sacred and Secular 203
  • Notes 232
  • Appendix 235
  • Selected Bibliograpby 237
  • Index 251
  • About the Author *
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