Research Portfolio Post #8

I am studying the themes of peace in religious leaders’ rhetoric because I want to understand how the goals and beliefs of peace are manifested in the everyday practices of religious through the rhetoric of religious leaders in order to find out how the manifestation of peace in religion practices have changed overtime (from 1950-present). The object that I am proposing to study with this question is the rhetoric of themes of peace and the actors that construct these representations are religious leaders who are historically, men. Because the majority of actors contributing to the conversation about religious intervention and dialogue about peace are men, there are many groups of people missing from the conversation like women for example.

One primary source that can be used to examine the rhetoric of Catholic leaders is through popes’ homilies.[1] Homilies, speeches, letter, and messages from previous to the current pope are available on the Vatican website, which would allow me to look at the rhetoric used by popes when discussing topics such as peace and conflict.[2]

Another primary source is the Shalom Center, which shows the perspective of Jewish writings and rhetoric surrounding the theme of peace.[3] These letters and documents specifically addressing issues like peace reveal variation in the dialogue between the rhetoric of the Jewish community and the Catholic community.[4]

Both of these sources provide examples of the type of sources that can be used to research this particular question of peace rhetoric, which plays into the dialogue in the international community about religion in peace. I am also planning on examining other sources such as political statements from governments in order to collect a wide variety of perspectives about religious dialogue.


[1] “Homilies | Francis.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2019.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “War, Peace, & the Jewish Community | The Shalom Center.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2019.

[4] Ibid.


“Homilies | Francis.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2019.

“War, Peace, & the Jewish Community | The Shalom Center.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2019.

4 thoughts to “Research Portfolio Post #8”

  1. Hi Savannah!

    I’m very interested in your topic, and I can’t wait to see how it will turn out. The relationship between men’s rhetoric and religion is certainly a very interesting topic and I’m excited to see where it goes from this point. I would like to know, however, who are perpetuating these representations, as well as what they are saying. I understand this may be obvious, but I think it would be something of value to have in this post – especially considering you are studying rhetoric, we need to understand who is, and has been saying them. Just looking at your sources, I see that it would probably be the religious books your studying, and further, the pope, and even local pastors. I think it would be interesting to study local pastors after taking a look at the leaders, just to see how certain stories may be interpreted and passed down. You would thusly be able to see how the discourse develops and evolves not only over the course of time but within different congregations and gatherings.

    Overall, I’m very excited to see where your project will go and look forward to watching it develop in the future!

  2. Hi Savannah!

    This is a great start for your interpretivist design, especially looking at popes’ homilies as primary sources for rhetoric on peace. You mention a timeframe, but I was wondering if you had a particular country or conflict in mind? Narrowing this down could be useful in expanding the depth of which you could analyze religious leaders’ rhetoric on manifestations of peace. You could even focus on one pope and his responses to conflict and if that had any effects on ending it/increasing international awareness. An example that comes to mind is Pope St. John Paul II (probably because he served for so long) and his responses to events at the time like the Persian Gulf War or the Rwandan genocide. I think it could also be interesting to study why a pope may not officially call for peace or condemn violence–are there any social practices/norms he could be supporting then?

    Can’t wait to see what you find!

  3. Savannah,

    I find your topic very interesting, especially with tying in gender, as religion and gender equality struggles usually seem to be at odds with each other. Pope Francis is seen as a more progressive pope, so it will be interesting to see how this has shifted since the beginning of his papacy. Along with Pope Francis’s homilies, his annual encyclicals might also prove to be helpful in your research. You mention a period of time (1950-present) that you plan on analyzing. What is the significance of this time frame? Why did you choose these years instead of earlier? Also, do you plan on applying this rhetoric to a historical event? When dealing with the Catholic faith’s responses to situations like conflict, certain local responses and actions from bishops and priests addressing the issue can provide a more informed reaction. Do you plan on only analyzing only rhetoric of the pope, or local religious leaders as well? I am eager to see where your project takes you!

  4. Savannah — you’ve identified some texts here that are surely relevant to your research project. What is not entirely clear, though, is what the object of inquiry is (the “X”) for this project. Remember that the object of inquiry is not the discourse itself; the object of inquiry is the issue/group/phenomenon that is given meaning by the discourse (just as Carabine’s object of inquiry was lone mothers and she studied the discourses that constructed lone mothers in certain way). Who or what is it that is being represented in these texts that you are proposing to study? That object of inquiry then becomes the central part of your question (the “how possible…?” question as per Dunn & Neumann, such as “How was it possible that lone mothers came to be represented as immoral and greedy in 1830s Britain?” to use the Carabine example). Once you’ve defined that object of inquiry then you can read the texts you identify more closely to start to trace out how that “X” is represented in different ways in the texts.

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