Review Of "Divine Apology: The Discourse Of Religious Image Restoration" By B. A. Miller

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The "apology" of the title is a technical term. "Apologia" is defined as rhetorical discourse that addresses specific verbal attacks and specific audiences. Communications theorists have developed a typology to analyze and assess the success or failure of responses of political figures to attacks on their competence and character. Miller (communications, Southwest Baptist Univ.) applies this analysis of image restoration to such religious defenses as Paul's in the Epistle to the Galatians, Justin Martyr's in his First and Second Apology, Luther's before the Diet of Worms, Jimmy Swaggart's replies to his critics, and to the controversy surrounding the Southern Baptist Convention's statement on the role of women in marriage. While interesting in themselves, these studies also show the possible usefulness of the typology to wider fields. The theory, descriptive rather than predictive, helps readers understand what has taken place but does not forecast what will make a successful defense. This book will prove useful to historians, journalists, and those interested in the rough-and-tumble of polemical debate. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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