Vernacular Christian Rhetoric and Civil Discourse: The Religious Creativity of Evangelical Student Writers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Vernacular Christian Rhetoric and Civil Discourse

The Religious Creativity of Evangelical Student Writers, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey M. Ringer


202 pages

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Vernacular Christian Rhetoric and Civil Discourse seeks to address the current gap in American public discourse between secular liberals and religiously committed citizens by focusing on the academic and public writing of millennial evangelical Christian students. Analysis of such writing reveals that the evangelical Christian faith of contemporary college students—and the rhetorical practice motivated by it—is marked by an openness to social context and pluralism that offers possibilities for civil discourse. Based on case studies of evangelical Christian student writers, contextualized within nationally-representative trends as reported by the National Study of Youth and Religion, and grounded in scholarship from rhetorical theory, composition studies, folklore studies, and sociology of religion, this book offers rhetorical educators a new terministic screen that reveals the complex processes at work within our students’ vernacular constructions of religious faith.


"I find Jeff Ringer’s scholarship to be outstanding: in what it offers to the field, in its use of empirical research, in its conclusions, and in its recommendations. The goal of this book—improving our chances of engaging in civil discourse—is terrifically important, and Ringer helps readers see a path toward accomplishing that goal." --Elizabeth Vander Lei, Calvin College, USA

"Ringer introduces a novel focus into discussions of religious students in the classroom, emphasizing that the current generation should be understood as ‘millennial evangelicals,’ who are much more open to dialogue with different views than their elders may have been." -- Patricia Bizzell, College of the Holy Cross, USA

Table of Contents

1. From Problem to Possibility: Evangelical Christian Students, Composition Studies, and Civil Discourse 2. Vernacular Religious Creativity: Lived Religion and Evangelical Christianity 3. Creating Deliberative Conversation: Toward Inventional Creativity 4. Effective Witness, Faithful Witness: Austin, Casuistic Stretching, and the Desire for Legitimacy 5. The Problem and Possibility of Ethos: Articulating Faith in Kimberly’s Schooled Writing 6. Changing the Way We Speak: Eloise, Inclusion, and Constitutive Rhetoric7. Coming to Terms: Toward a Pedagogy of Values Articulation Appendix A: Methodology Appendix B: The National Study of Youth and Religion as Context

About the Author

Jeffrey M. Ringer is an assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of several articles and book chapters. With Michael-John DePalma, he edited Mapping Christian Rhetorics: Connecting Conversations, Charting New Territories, which won the Religious Communication Association’s 2015 Book of the Year award.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Students & Student Life
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing