I'm interested in the socio-cognitive structures of religious discourse,
mainly within the context of critical discourse analysis - the critical end
of sociolinguistics. There have been a number of publications (including in
the current issue of Theology - there's also been a monograph), and I'm
just beginning an article trying to identify some of the main verbal
features within the language-identity loop which helps create these 'public
mind' structures. What facets of language are most powerful for the
formation of these structures: eg cohesion, parallel grammatical structures
within so-called 'colony texts', precedence, especially within lists?
The research is sometimes used by clergy trainers, so there is potentially
an applied element in the project. I've also had some interesting responses
from church members (the notion of a church having an 'invisible
noticeboard' seems often to be quite helpful).
I'd be interested in hearing from anybody working in or interested in these
areas or their allied theological implications (eg [re
socio-theological/postliberal grammars] the relationship between specific
theological positions and the tendency to avoid/lapse into social 'Freudian
slips'). Any practical examples would also be gratefully received.
Lecturer in Humanities Computing
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University of London