Abstract

This essay defines and describes the atheistic voice. Drawing from Thomas Lessl’s “voice” metaphor (“The Priestly Voice”), the logology of Kenneth Burke, and the literary insights of Mikhail Bakhtin, I map out the rhetorical tropes of the atheistic voice by analyzing the rhetoric of Christopher Hitchens, which exemplifies the atheistic voice as a rhetorical ideal. Hitchens demonstrates that the rhetorical strategies of burlesque and grotesque rejection are the atheistic voice’s primary means of ridiculing and tearing down the godterms of priestly and bardic discourses. After analyzing these strategies, I point to concerns—some perennial, some contemporary—that the ebb and flow of atheistic voices in a democratic public sphere present.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 323-347
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-23
Open Access
No
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