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Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric (Stephen D O'Leary) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780195121254
Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric (Stephen D O'Leary) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780195121254
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Title: Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric

Author: O'Leary, Stephen D

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 1998

Paperback; ISBN: 9780195121254

Volumes: 1; Pages: 336

List Price in Paper: $60.00 Our price: $52.99

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Apocalyptic expectations of Armageddon and a New Age have been a fixture of the American cultural landscape for centuries. With the approach of the year 2000, such millennial visions seem once again to be increasing in popularity. Stephen O'Leary sheds new light on the age-old phenomenon of the End of the Age by proposing a rhetorical explanation for the appeal of millennialism. Using examples of apocalyptic argument from ancient to modern times, O'Leary identifies the recurring patterns in apocalyptic texts and movements and shows how and why the Christian Apocalypse has been used to support a variety of political stances and programs. The book concludes with a critical review of the recent appearances of doomsday scenarios in our politics and culture, and a meditation on the significance of the Apocalypse in the nuclear age. Arguing the Apocalypse is the most thorough examination of its subject to date: a study of a neglected chapter of our religious and cultural history, a guide to the politics of Armageddon, and a map of millennial consciousness.Table of ContentsA Note on Sources and Translations 1 Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Apocalypse 2 Time, Evil, Authority 3 From Eschatology to Apocalypse: Dramatic and Argumentative Form in the Discourse of Prophetic Interpretation 4 Millerism as a Rhetorical Movement 5 Millerite Argumentation 6 Hal Lindsey and the Apocalypse of the Twentieth Century 7 Apocalyptic Politics in the New Christian Right 8 The Apocalypse of Apocalypses Epilogue Waco and Beyond Notes Bibliography Index REVIEWS"Stephen D. O'Leary's provocative book, Arguing the Apocalypse, is a major contribution to contemporary study of apocalypticism. Drawing on thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Kenneth Burke, Paul Ricoeur, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Max Weber, O'Leary constructs a model of the rhetorical strategy of apocalyptic discourse that is both original and convincing. O'Leary's work has advanced the political-rhetorical theory of apocalypticism to a new level."--Bernard McGinn, Divinity School, University of Chicago "A timely, far-ranging and imaginative study of apocalyptic manifestations in contemporary culture."--Carol Zaleski, Smith College"O'Leary's learned work ... opens a variety of issues which will need to be taken into account in future apocalyptic studies."--Theology"In both scope and depth this is an exceptionally rich book which will certainly stimulate further research and discussion."--Theological Studies"This scholarly study of the dynamic nature of millennial rhetoric is an important resource for advanced students of apocalyptic movements, and particularly of American apocalypticism."--Religious Studies Review"A strong and provocative analysis that is must reading."--The Theological Educator"Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric, is a sophisticated rhetorical analysis of apocalyptic discourse as argument. ... For anyone interested in eschatology, or in the history of religion in America, this is a worthwhile work. Rhetorical scholars should welcome another good historical study that draws heavily on the American tradition of rhetorical theory and criticism."--The Cresset"This book is a well-researched and insightful study of a neglected but important subject. ... Readers will find it valuable."--Quarterly Journal of Speech"Arguing the Apocalypse is a significant contribution to the understanding of millenarian thought that is destined to strongly influence the community of millenarian scholarship."--Utopian Studies
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