Liturgy, ethics and reconciliation: Learning from Abraham Lincoln's rhetorical art


To achieve this goal, I drew on two studies from within the Western tradition that analyse the rhetorical aspects of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address and his speeches.5 After reading these articles it became apparent that the parallels between Lincoln's rhetorical art exhibited particularly in the Gettysburg Address (November 1863) and the design of EP RII were numerous and (unexpectedly) striking. Lincoln's speech to dedicate Gettysburg's burial ground, made within the final two years of the Civil War, was an important symbolic moment in the effort to restore union.7 Alternatively, with EP RII, composed for the Holy Year of 1975 and focused on personal reconciliation (in the sacrament of penance), its broader setting was of the 'Cold War', of a Europe divided by the Iron Curtain with little hope of reconciliation.8 Second, in comparing these texts, it is helpful to view them both as 'cultural' documents.


values, war, Christianity, rites & ceremonies, speeches, reconciliation

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