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Engaging the Congregation : The Place of Metadiscourse in Contemporary Preaching

Malmström, Hans LU (2016) In Applied Linguistics 37(4). p.561-582
Abstract

Most forms of contemporary preaching elevate the role of the listeners, who are seen as co-constructors of the sermon. This article investigates how preachers may respond to a call from homiletics to 'turn-to-the-listener' through their deployment of metadiscourse, operationalized as a framework for understanding preaching not primarily as gospel proclamation, but as a form of social and communicative engagement. A quantitative analysis of 150 sermons from three well-established English Christian denominations finds that metadiscourse is a prolific feature in preaching, with almost one word in 10 performing a metadiscursive function, most prominently by recourse to interactional metadiscursive resources. A qualitative analysis shows... (More)

Most forms of contemporary preaching elevate the role of the listeners, who are seen as co-constructors of the sermon. This article investigates how preachers may respond to a call from homiletics to 'turn-to-the-listener' through their deployment of metadiscourse, operationalized as a framework for understanding preaching not primarily as gospel proclamation, but as a form of social and communicative engagement. A quantitative analysis of 150 sermons from three well-established English Christian denominations finds that metadiscourse is a prolific feature in preaching, with almost one word in 10 performing a metadiscursive function, most prominently by recourse to interactional metadiscursive resources. A qualitative analysis shows that, across the three denominations, preachers adopt metadiscursive practices that may serve to address expectations in the turn-to-the-listener preaching paradigm. The findings will inform further applied analysis of religious discourse, and will add constructively to discussions within homiletics, not least by suggesting how empirical and applied approaches to language can be of service to homiletics and the teaching of preaching.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Applied Linguistics
volume
37
issue
4
pages
22 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85010866424
  • wos:000383183400006
ISSN
0142-6001
DOI
10.1093/applin/amu052
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a7364cd8-4350-4ed7-9ca4-62c1729cd7e6 (old id 4194179)
date added to LUP
2013-12-11 12:24:30
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:30:32
@article{a7364cd8-4350-4ed7-9ca4-62c1729cd7e6,
  abstract     = {<p>Most forms of contemporary preaching elevate the role of the listeners, who are seen as co-constructors of the sermon. This article investigates how preachers may respond to a call from homiletics to 'turn-to-the-listener' through their deployment of metadiscourse, operationalized as a framework for understanding preaching not primarily as gospel proclamation, but as a form of social and communicative engagement. A quantitative analysis of 150 sermons from three well-established English Christian denominations finds that metadiscourse is a prolific feature in preaching, with almost one word in 10 performing a metadiscursive function, most prominently by recourse to interactional metadiscursive resources. A qualitative analysis shows that, across the three denominations, preachers adopt metadiscursive practices that may serve to address expectations in the turn-to-the-listener preaching paradigm. The findings will inform further applied analysis of religious discourse, and will add constructively to discussions within homiletics, not least by suggesting how empirical and applied approaches to language can be of service to homiletics and the teaching of preaching.</p>},
  author       = {Malmström, Hans},
  issn         = {0142-6001},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {561--582},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Applied Linguistics},
  title        = {Engaging the Congregation : The Place of Metadiscourse in Contemporary Preaching},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu052},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2016},
}