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 3
Background to the Visits

COMMUNICATIVE TRADITION OF VISIT

Christianity is intimately linked to communications because at the heart of its mission is Jesus Christ as the self-communication of the Father on earth. Catholic theology has always used communication themes and symbols: prayer, preaching, communion, revelation, evangelization. Since Vatican Council II, the church has changed its mode of communication. Instead of using images that convey a transmitting or transporting of information, the church of Vatican Council II employs language and symbols to signal a more participatory, dialogical, and interactive mode of communicating about the church. 1 When describing the functions of the church, theologians refer to the way individuals and God communicate with each other, and how the church is the means for all humanity to communicate and unite as one. God speaks to humans and humans speak to God. Christ is the Word; this Word of God, found through sacred scripture and tradition, is constantly being understood and shared with others. 2 A key church document on communications calls Christ the "Perfect Communicator," because, in having become a human, Christ identified himself with whom he was communicating. He used words to communicate about God's love, but more importantly, his whole manner of life demonstrated that love. 3 In this manner, the church has applied updated communication theory to elaborate on its own meaning.

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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 1 - 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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