A watermelon without seeds: A case study in rhetorical rationality

Yair Neuman, Yotam Lurie, Michele Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this article, we discuss the meaning of rationality in rhetoric through an examination of fundamentalist rhetoric. Liberal critics of fundamentalism far too often dismiss their opponents and their speech as 'irrational'. In our interpretation, fundamentalist rhetoric is neither irrational nor is it simply an example of an alternative discursive community which is contextually bound to its own form of rationality. Rather fundamentalist rhetoric proceeds along the lines of practical reason. Through the examination of a missionary speech given by a popular fundamentalist Israeli preacher, we illustrate rhetorical rationality at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-565
Number of pages23
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Culture
  • Fundamentalism
  • Missionary speeches
  • Preaching
  • Rationality
  • Rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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