The Rhetoric of Religious ‘Cults’

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  • Annabelle Mooney

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 1-9
  3. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 10-40
  4. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 41-71
  5. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 72-104
  6. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 105-128
  7. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 129-154
  8. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 155-168
  9. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 169-176
  10. Annabelle Mooney
    Pages 177-181
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 182-208

About this book


The Rhetoric of Religious Cults takes as its departure point the notion that 'cults' have a distinctive language and way of recruiting members. First outlining a rhetorical framework, which encompasses contemporary discourse analysis, the persuasive texts of three movements - Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses and Children of God - are analysed in detail and their discourse compared with other kinds of recruitment literature. Cults' distinctive negative profile in society is not matched by a linguistic typology. Indeed, this negative profile seems to rest on the semantics and application of the term 'cult' itself.


bibliography church discourse discourse analysis English literature god knowledge language literature rhetoric semantic semantics society typology

Authors and affiliations

  • Annabelle Mooney
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Language and Communication ResearchCardiff UniversityUK

Bibliographic information