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Title page for ETD etd-12232015-112246

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mills, Zachary William
Author's Email Address millz5@yahoo.com
URN etd-12232015-112246
Title Excuse me while I act a fool: a homiletic examination of the Afro-American trickster
Degree Master of Arts
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. John S. McClure Committee Chair
Dr. Dale P. Andrews Committee Member
Dr. Victor Anderson Committee Member
  • rhetorical tropes
  • signifying
Date of Defense 2016-01-01
Availability unrestricted
This thesis analyzes tricksters within African and African American literature and oral culture as figures signifying methods of criticism that can enhance modern preaching practices. This project relies upon Afro-American vernacular theory to examine how the Afro-American trickster’s rhetorical repartee has influenced the production of literary works, speeches, and sermons within Afro-American culture. Ultimately, this project endeavors to re-figure understandings of the nature of African American preaching and the role of the African American preacher. Examining the rhetorical tactics of Afro-American tricksters and African American preachers reveals how the trickster has influenced members of the black Diaspora in North American in efforts to challenge racial oppression during and since slavery. In sum, this thesis proffers a modern tropological reading of tricksters within Afro-American vernacular discourse as figures signifying paradigms of criticism offering homileticians and preachers inventive, investigative models for more artful, creative, prophetic, and efficacious preaching.

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