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A Rhetorician's View of Religious Speech in Civic Argument

21 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2008  

Jack L. Sammons

Mercer University School of Law

Date Written: November 18, 2008


This paper examines the role of religious speech in democratic civic argument by challenging liberal methods of addressing the issue of religious speech with a more rhetorical view of civic argument. The primary issue, from this perspective, is whether or not rhetoric's own constitutive restraints are adequate to address the risks of religious speech. After a brief analysis of liberal methods, the rhetorical nature of civic argument is described, and both the risks of religious speech and the constitutive restraints are examined.

Keywords: rhetoric, rhetorical community, religious speech, religious rhetoric, religion, constitutive restrainsts, constitutive rules, persuasion, political argument,democracy, civic argument, liberal, Stanley Fish, Stanley Hauerwas, Robert Audi, Mozert v. Hawkins, mystery, divisiveness, rudeness, fairness

Suggested Citation

Sammons, Jack L., A Rhetorician's View of Religious Speech in Civic Argument (November 18, 2008). Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 32, p. 367, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Jack Lee Sammons (Contact Author)

Mercer University School of Law ( email )

Walter F. George School of Law
1021 Georgia Ave.
Macon, GA 31207-0001
United States
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