This thesis contends that the Book of Mormon can be profitably read from a rhetorical perspective. It employs Kenneth Burke's ideas concerning language, texts, and his method of dramatistic analysis, to reveal certain persuasive aspects of the Book of Mormon, and to urge action in response to the persuasion of the Book of Mormon.
Chapter one discusses common ways of reading scripture, and explains some of the inadequacies of these approaches. It gives a rationale of a rhetorical approach that concerns itself with action, and recommends this approach for the Book of Mormon. Chapter two applies a rhetorical reading to the Book of Mormon as a whole, and concludes that the Book has a fundamental and unified purpose: to persuade its readers to come to Christ. Chapter three analyzes Alma 32–34 from the perspective of Burke's pentad, and urges an open, responsive reading of scripture. It concludes that the overall purpose of the Book of Mormon is revealed in these chapters as well. Chapter four explores Burke's notion of identification, and suggests ways to allow for persuasion as readers of the Book of Mormon.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lane, Keith H., "Symbolic Action and Persuasion in The Book of Mormon" (1990). Theses and Dissertations. 4863.
Book of Mormon, Study, teaching, Criticism, interpretation