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European Science Foundation ranking A

International Journal of Practical Theology

Ed. by Couture, Pamela / Schröder, Bernd

Editorial Board: Dreyer, Jaco / Gräb, Wilhelm / Graham, Elaine / Grethlein, Christian / Hastings, Thomas John / Lefebvre, Solange / Mette, Norbert / Miller-McLemore, Bonnie / Mullino Moore, Mary Elizabeth / Nieman, James / Osmer, Richard / Schreiter, Robert / Schweitzer, Friedrich / Kwan Un, Joon / Ven, Johannes / Wolfteich, Claire

In cooperation with Simojoki, Henrik / Bowers Du Toit, Nadine / Ramsay, Nancy

CiteScore 2017: 0.52

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 3.042

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Volume 22, Issue 1


Appraisal, Preaching and the Religious Other: The Rhetorical Appropriation of Interreligious Positions in Sermonic Discourse

Dr. Hans Malmström
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  • Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Communication and Learning in Science, Division for Language and Communication, Hörsalsvägen 2, 412 96, Gothenburg, SWEDENhalmers University of TechnologyDepartment of Communication and Learning in ScienceHörsalsvägen 2412 96, GothenburgSweden
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Published Online: 2018-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijpt-2017-0016


This paper explores preachers’ deployment of Appraisal (affect, judgement, appreciation, and dialogic engagement) in preaching on interreligious themes. Adopting a comparative discourse analysis, the paper investigates two American sermons representing diametrically opposed theological responses to other religions, a pluralist sermon in the Unitarian Universalist tradition and an exclusivist sermon in the biblical-evangelical tradition. An analysis of the two preachers’ Appraisal choices reveals two distinct Appraisal profiles. A discussion is then offered demonstrating how Appraisal is conducive to the appropriation and conservation of a specific interreligious persona during preaching.


Der Beitrag untersucht, inwiefern Prediger/innen bei der Auseinandersetzung mit interreligiösen Themen beurteilend oder den Wert des Gegenüber ermessend verfahren. Hierzu dient eine komparative Diskursanalyse zweier amerkanischer Predigten, die auf theologisch entgegengesetzte Weise andere Religionen thematisieren. Der Autor zeigt auf, wie solches Ermessen (“Appraisal”) bei der Aneignung einer interreligiösen Handlungsrolle für das Predigen dienlich sein kann.

Keywords: Appraisal; language; interreligious dialogue; preaching; exclusivism; pluralism

Stichwörter: Appraisal; Sprache; interreligiöser Dialog; Predigt; Exklusivismus; Pluralismus

This paper was written when the author was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School.

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Published Online: 2018-06-01

Published in Print: 2018-05-30

Citation Information: International Journal of Practical Theology, Volume 22, Issue 1, Pages 40–57, ISSN (Online) 1612-9768, ISSN (Print) 1430-6921, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijpt-2017-0016.

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