Cynosure: A theoretical grounding for pictorial language that grasps attention

Roth, Michael (2018) Cynosure: A theoretical grounding for pictorial language that grasps attention. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology.

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Abstract

This thesis proposes theoretical grounding for pictorial language that grasps attention in the field of homiletics. The research consists of two parts: theoretical and analytical. The theoretical framework integrates rhetorical, homiletical, and neuroscience theory to explain why pictorial language wins attention during oration. By beginning with rhetorical and homiletical theory this thesis suggests that a speaker may achieve attention by creating presence through the use of lively and active words. This suggestion is then validated and constrained by theory in neuroscience to state that presence, created through oration, may appear to the brain as a sensory impression if the presence is made to be pictorial. Furthermore, according to theory in neuroscience on attention, sensory impressions have a higher probability of winning the brain’s attention than do other kinds of impressions that words can cause in the brain. These findings result in an original homiletical theory called “cynosure,” which concludes: language that generates pictorial presence has a higher probability of winning the ongoing competition for the brain’s attention than do other kinds of language because pictorial presence impacts the brain as a sensory impression.

The analytical portion of this thesis involves identifying, analyzing, and testing the efficacy of pictorial presence to win attention. The identification and analysis focus on the creation of pictorial presence in the Bible and sermons, which suggest positive correlation between the proposed theory of cynosure and Christian oration. Furthermore, the creation of pictorial presence in the Bible and sermons presents potential strategies for grasping attention in homiletics. The testing gathered data using a sermon and questionnaire to investigate whether or not some of these strategies win attention. Quantitative analysis of the data indicates that ion than other kinds of language that do not create pictorial presence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 26504
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2019 09:05
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 10:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26504

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