Prophetic Rhetoric: Sources

The prophetic mode in American Public Discourse utilizes prophetic style and action drawn from antecedent genres in biblical prophecy, that play out against the scenic narrative of America as the Promised Land. The scope of this bibliography is comprehensive on prophetism in American public discourse, and limited on prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible to sources that address its rhetorical aspects.

Sources in American Public Discourse

Principle Primary Texts (to 1870)

Danforth, Samuel. A brief recognition of New-Englands errand into the wilderness made in the audience of the General Assembly of the Massachusetts Colony at Boston in N.E. on the 11th of the third moneth, 1670, being the day of election there. Cambridge [Mass.] : Printed by S.G. and M.J., 1671. Electronic ed. Early English Books Online (Proquest).

Howe, Julia Ward. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". U of Oklahoma Law Center. Chronology of U. S. Historical Documents. 24 Aug. 1998. <

Penn, William. Some Fruits of Solitude in Reflections and Maxims. 1642. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. 24 Aug. 1998.<>.

Warner, Michael, ed. American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King, Jr. The Library of America 108. New York: Library of America / Penguin Putnam, 1999.

Winthrop, John. A Modell of Christian Charity. 1630. Hanover Historical Texts Project. 24 Aug. 1998. <>.

Woolman, John. A Journal of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Christian Experiences of That Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, John Woolman, Late of Mount-Holly, in the Province of New Jersey. Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1784. Renascence Editions. 10 Oct. 2002. <

Primary Texts (Modern)

Houck, Davis W. and David E. Dixon. Rhetoric, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965. 2 vols. Studies in rhetoric and religion, 15. Waco, Tex: Baylor University Press, 2006, 2014.

Critical and Historical Sources

Berkovitch, Sacvan. The American Jeremiad Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1978.

Betz, Brian R. "Erich Fromm and the Rhetoric of Prophecy." Central States Speech Journal 26 (1975): 310-315.

Bizzell, Patricia. "(Native) American Jeremiad: The 'Mixedblood' Rhetoric of William Apess." In American Indian Rhetorics of Survivance: Word Medicine: U of Pittsburgh P, 2006. 34- .

Browne, Stephen H. "Samuel Danforth's Errand into the Wilderness and the Discourse of Arrival in Early American Culture." Communication Quarterly 40 (1992): 91-101. —-. "'This Unparalleled and Inhuman Massacre': The Gothic, the Sacred, and the Meaning of Nat Turner." Rhetoric and Public Affairs 3 (2000): 309-331.

Brummett, Barry. Contemporary Apocalyptic Rhetoric. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1991.

—-. "Premillenial Apocalyptic as a Rhetorical Genre." Central States Speech Journal 35 (1984): 84-93.

—-. "Using Apocalyptic Discourse to Exploit Audience Commitments Through 'Transfer'." Southern Communication Journal 54 (1988): 58-73.

Corts, Thomas. "The Great Revival of 1800."Central States Speech Journal 18 (1967): 91-96.

Chesebrough, David B. Charles G. Finney: Revivalistic Rhetoric. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 2001.

Darsey, James Francis. The Prophetic Tradition and Radical Rhetoric in America. New York: New York UP, 1997.

—-. "The Legend of Eugene Debs: Prophetic Ethos as Radical Argument." Quarterly Journal of Speech 74 (1988): 434-452.

Griffin, Charles J. G. "The Rhetoric of Form in Conversion Narratives." Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990): 152-163.

Gutterman, David S. Prophetic politics : Christian social movements and American democracy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

Hartnell, Anna. Rewriting Exodus : American Futures from Du Bois to Obama. London: Pluto Press, 2011. Accessed May 23, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Holmes, David G., and Keith D. Miller. Where the Sacred and Secular Harmonize: Birmingham Mass Meeting Rhetoric and the Prophetic Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017.

Japp, Phyllis M. "Esther or Isaiah?: The Abolitionist-Feminist Rhetoric of Angelina Grimke." Quarterly Journal of Speech 71.3 (1985): 35-348.

Lake, Randall A. "Between Myth and History: Enacting Time in Native American Protest Rhetoric." Quarterly Journal of Speech 77 (1991): 123-151.

Larson, Barbara A. "Samuel Davies and the Rhetoric of the New Light." Speech Monographs 38 (1971): 207-216.

McGee, Brian R. "Witnessing and Ethos: The Evangelical Conversion of David Duke." Western Journal of Communication 62 (1998): 214-243.

Medhurst, Martin J. "George W. Bush at Goree Island: American Slavery and the Rhetoric of Redemption." Quarterly Journal of Speech 96/3 (2010): 257-277.

Minifee, Paul. "Rhetoric of Doom and Redemption: Reverend Jermain Loguen's Jeremiadic Speech Against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850." Advances In The History Of Rhetoric 16, no. 1 (January 2013): 29-57.

Mixon, Harold, and Mary Frances Hopkins. "Apocalypticism in Secular Public Discourse: A Proposed Theory." Central States Speech Journal 39 (1988): 244-257.

Morris, Richard, and Philip Wander. "Native American Rhetoric: Dancing in the Shadows of the Ghost Dance." Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990): 164-191.

Murphy, John M. "'A Time of Shame and Sorrow': Robert F. Kennedy and the American Jeremiad." Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990): 401-414.

O'Leary, Stephen. "Millerism as a Rhetorical Movement." Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millenial Rhetoric. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. 93-110.

O'Leary, Stephen, and Michael McFarland. "The Political Use of Mythic Discourse: Prophetic Interpretation in Pat Robertson's Presidential Campaign." Quarterly Journal of Speech 75 (1989): 433-452.

Overholt, Thomas. Channels of Prophecy: The Social Dynamics of Prophetic Activity. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989.

Pauley, John L. "Reshaping Public Persona and the Prophetic Ethos: Louis Farrakhan at the Million Man March."Western Journal of Communication 62 (1998): 523-536.

Pullum, Stephen J. "Foul Demons, Come Out! The Rhetoric of Twentieth Century American Faith Healing. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999.

Ray, Roberta K. "The Role of the Orator in the Philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson." Speech Monographs 41 (1974): 215-225.

Reid, Ronald F. "Apocalypticism and Typology: Rhetorical Dimensions of a Symbolic Reality." Quarterly Journal of Speech 69 (1983): 229-248.

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic . Library of Congress Exhibition. 30 January 2013.

Ritter, Kurt W. "American Political Rhetoric and the Jeremiad Tradition: Presidential Nomination Acceptance Addresses, 1960-1976." Central States Speech Journal 31 (1980): 153-171.

Rogers, William B. "We Are All Together Now": Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and the Prophetic Tradition. New York: Garland, 1995. The Salem Witchcraft Papers:Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692. Ed. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum. Witchcraft in Salem Village. The Danvers Archival Center. 30 January 2013.

Sullivan, Dale L. "The Prophetic Voice in Jeremy Rifkin's 'Algeny'." Rhetoric Review 9 (1990): 134-148.

Terrill, Robert E. "Protest, Prophecy, and Prudence in the Rhetoric of Malcolm X." Rhetoric and Public Affairs 4 (2001): 25-53.

Ware, B. L., and Wil A. Linkugel. "The Rhetorical Persona: Marcus Garvey as Black Moses." Communication Monographs 49 (1982): 50-62.

White, Eugene E. "Whitefield's Use of Proofs During the Great Awakening in America." Western Speech 14 (1950): 3-6.

Yarbrough, Stephen R. Delightful Conviction: Jonathan Edwards and the Rhetoric of Conversion.Great American Orators 20. New York: Greenwood P, 1993.

Zulick, Margaret D. "Prophecy and Providence: The Anxiety over Prophetic Authority." Journal of Communication and Religion 26 (2003): 195-207.

Prophetism in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East: Rhetorical Sources

Auld, Graeme A. "Prophecy in Books: A Rejoinder." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 48 (1990): 31-32.

Barton, J. Oracles of God: Perceptions of Ancient Prophecy in Israel after the Exile. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1986.

Blenkinsopp, J. A History of Prophecy in Israel: From the Settlement in the Land to the Hellenistic Period.Philadelphia: Westminster P, 1983.

Brueggemann, Walter. "Jeremiah's Use of Rhetorical Questions." Journal of Biblical Literature 92 (1973): 358-374.

Carroll, Robert P. From Chaos to Covenant: Uses of Prophecy in the Book of Jeremiah. London: SCM Press, 1981.

—-. "Inventing the Prophets." Irish Biblical Studies 10 (1988): 24-36.

—-. "Prophecy and Dissonance: A Theoretical Approach to the Prophetic Tradition." Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentlische Wissenschaft 92 (1980): 108-119.

—-. When Prophecy Failed: Reactions and Responses to Failure in the Old Testament Prophetic Tradition. London: SCM, 1979.

Coggins, R., A. Phillips, and M. Knibb, eds. Israel's Prophetic Tradition: Essays in Honor of Peter R. Ackroyd. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982.

Coote, Robert B. Amos among the Prophets: Composition and Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress P, 1981.

Diamond, A. R. The Confessions of Jeremiah in Context: Scenes of Prophetic Drama. JSOT Supplement Series 45. Sheffield: JSOT P, 1987.

Fishelov, D. "The Prophet as Satirist." Prooftexts 9 (1989): 195-211.

Fretheim, Terence E. "Jonah and Theodicy." Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentlische Wissenschaft 90 (1978): 227-237.

Gemser, B. "The rîb or Controversy-Pattern in Hebrew Mentality." Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East: Fs. H.H. Rowley. Ed. Martin Noth and D. Winton Thomas. Vetus Testamentum Supplements 3. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960. 120-137.

Gitay, Yehoshua. "Deutero-Isaiah: Oral or Written?" Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980): 185-197.

—-. "Reflections on the Study of the Prophetic Discourse: The Question of Isaiah I 2-20." Vetus Testamentum 33 (1983): 207-21.

Greenspahn, F. E. "Why Prophecy Ceased." Journal of Biblical Literature 108 (1989): 37-49.

Hamborg, G. R. "Reasons for Judgment in the Oracles against the Nations of the Prophet Isaiah." Vetus Testamentum31 (1981): 145-159.

Hanson, Paul D. "Jewish Apocalyptic against Its Near Eastern Environment." Revue Biblique 78 (1971): 31-58.

House, P. R. Zephaniah: A Prophetic Drama. Sheffield: Almond P, 1988.

Lewin, Ellen Davis. "Arguing for Authority: A Rhetorical Study of Jeremiah 1.4-19 and 20.7-18." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32 (1985): 105-119.

Long, Burke O. "Prophetic Authority as Social Reality." Canon and Authority: Essays in Old Testament Religion and Theology. Ed. George W. Coats and Burke O. Long. Philadelphia: Fortress P, 1977. 3-20.

McConville, J. G. "Ezra-Nehemiah and the Fulfillment of Prophecy." Vetus Testamentum 36 (1986): 205-224.

Murray, D. F. "The Rhetoric of Disputation: Re-examination of a Prophetic Genre." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38 (1987): 95-121.

Nielsen, Kirsten. Yahweh as Prosecutor and Judge: An Investigation of the Prophetic Lawsuit (rîb -Pattern). Trans. Frederick Cryer. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 9. Sheffield: JSOT, 1978.

North, R. "Prophecy to Apocalyptic via Zechariah." Congress Volume: Uppsala 1971. Vetus Testamentum Supplement 22. Leiden: Brill, 1972. 47-71.

Overholt, Thomas. Channels of Prophecy: The Social Dynamics of Prophetic Activity. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989.

—-. "The End of Prophecy: No Players without a Program." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 42 (1988): 103-115.

—-. "Prophecy in History: The Social Reality of Intermediation." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 48 (1990): 3-29.

Peckham, Brian. History and Prophecy: The Development of Late Judean Literary Traditions. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Petersen, D. L. Late Israelite Prophecy: Studies in Deutero-Prophetic Literature and in Chronicles. Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series 23. Missoula, MT: Scholars P, 1977.

—-. The Roles of Israel's Prophets. JSOT Supplement Series 17. Sheffield: JSOT P, 1981.

Polk, Timothy. The Prophetic Persona: Jeremiah and the Language of the Self. JSOT Supplement Series 32. Sheffield: JSOT P, 1984.

Ross, J. F. "Prophecy in Hamath, Israel, and Mari." Harvard Theological Review 63 (1970): 1-28.

Schmidt, W. W. "rîb." Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Vol. 3. Ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley and John T. Willis. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. 84-125.

Silver, M. Prophets and Markets: The Political Economy of Ancient Israel. The Hague: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1983.

Weinfeld, Moshe. "Ancient Near Eastern Patterns in Prophetic Literature." Vetus Testamentum 27 (1977): 178-195.

Westermann, Claus. Basic Forms of Prophetic Speech. Trans. Hugh Clayton White. Philadelphia: Westminster P, 1967.

Wilson, Robert R. "From Prophecy to Apocalyptic: Reflections on the Shape of Israelite Religion."Anthropological Perspectives on Old Testament Prophecy. Ed. R. C. Culley and Thomas W. Overholt. Semeia 21. Chico, CA: Scholars P, 1982. 79-95.

—-. Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: Fortress P, 1980.

Zulick, Margaret D. "The Agon of Jeremiah: On the Dialogic Invention of Prophetic Ethos." Quarterly Journal of Speech78 (1992): 125-148.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License