Description: Using the framework set up by rhetorical critic Thomas M. Lessl in his article "Heresy, Orthodoxy, And The Politics Of Science", this study examines the ways in which heretical discourse defines community boundaries and shapes perceptions of right belief. Specifically, this study analyzes the historic conflict in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which produced the doctrinal statement "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles". Comparison is made between this event and other "heretical" conflicts in other discourse communities. This study concludes that community boundaries must be drawn, and that a doctrinal or policy statement is a useful rhetorical tool to accomplish such a task. Rhetorical critics may assist in this by examining heretical conflicts as historical trends, rather than emotional dissonance.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Barnhart, Melody R. (Melody Ruth)
Partner: UNT Libraries