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Restoring the Diaspora: Discursive Structure and Purpose in by Timothy B. Cargal

By Timothy B. Cargal

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Sample text

Consequently, the different studies are of mixed value, and occasionally only serve to compound the weaknesses of their predecessors. The first study completed seems to owe less to the particularities of discourse analysis theory than to the methodology of James Thayer who wrote it. To be fair, it should be noted that discourse analysis theory was still in its very early stages of development. ""* As a result, imperative-vocative structures and rhetorical questions were identified as the "grammatical forms" that mark the onset of new sections/paragraphs.

So Martin (James, cii) assesses Vouga's analysis. For the relevant discussion in Vouga, see Jacques, 21-23. "®® By expounding James's admonitions in terms of the question of 'how human existence can accomplish its vocation and find dignity,' both Martin and Vouga began to move toward redefining both the structure and purpose of the Epistle within twentieth century terms rather than first century terms. But both Martin and Vouga also attempted to keep one foot in each century, as it were, by mixing their existenfialist readings with an interest in the historical setting of the Epistle and by adopting certain aspects of Francis's proposals regarding first century epistolary forms.

Harvey, The Historian and the Believer: The Morality of Historical Knowledge and Christian Belief (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 3-9 et passim. 20 Restoring the Diaspora understanding both the purpose of the Epistle (in terms of the historical situation it sought to address) and its paraenetic content. Additionally, a historical-contextual reading of the Epistle's ethical demands was one way of reclaiming the text of the Epistle for a modern audience which resisted the universal, ahistorical nature of its admonitions as perceived by Dibelius.

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