The discourse of Birdie Smith : a study of a woman preacher's participation in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) discourse community

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dc.contributor.advisor Ranieri, Paul W. en_US
dc.contributor.author Clark, Sandra Stephens en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-in en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:24:14Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:24:14Z
dc.date.created 1995 en_US
dc.date.issued 1995
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1995 .C5 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/175557
dc.description.abstract This dissertation analyzes the public and private discourse of Birdie Mitchell Smith, a Church of God preacher who enjoyed a long, distinguished career between 1901 and 1967, during a time period when woman were not allowed to preach in most American churches. Case study methodology was used to examine an archival collection of Smith's sermon outlines, letters and journal entries in context of her religious group's community discourse, particularly in context of the dissonance between the group's public rhetoric, which has historically supported a woman's right to preach, and their women preacher's stories of discrimination.Chapters Two, Three and Four set the context for analyzing Smith's texts. Chapter Two examines references to Birdie Smith in Church of God literature to evaluate her role in her religious community and her community's recognition of that role. This chapter illustrates that although Smith was at the center of her group's discourse community for many years, her work has been largely ignored by Church of God writers. Chapter Three uses six criteria developed by John Swales to analyze the Church of God as a discourse community: shared public goals, a mechanism for communication, information exchange, discoursal expectations, specialized terminology, and members with discoursal and content expertise. This chapter places Smith in the context of a religious discourse community whose discourse gradually changed during her long preaching career. Chapter Four situates Smith in context of a discourse community which has historically supported women's right to preach but has not always afforded women preachers universal acceptance or approval.Chapters Five and Six analyze Smith's sermon outlines, letters and journal entries in context of Church of God discourse practices. Both chapters show Smith to be a fully participating member of her discourse community. These chapters also place Smith solidly within her discourse community on the topic of women preachers, for although she hints at the kinds of gender-related problems which she and her sister Church of God preachers faced over the years, she does not speak out against discrimination. She simply performs her roles as missionary, evangelist and pastor without calling attention to herself or letting problems of gender get in the way of her call. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.format.extent 2, vi, 246 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Women clergy -- Indiana -- Anderson -- Biography. en_US
dc.subject.other Smith, Birdie Mitchell, 1879-1984. en_US
dc.subject.other Church of God -- Indiana -- Anderson -- Clergy -- Biography. en_US
dc.subject.other Church of God -- Sermons. en_US
dc.title The discourse of Birdie Smith : a study of a woman preacher's participation in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) discourse community en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/941581 en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3090]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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