Michael Bernard-Donals and Kyle Jensen open their introduction to Responding to the Sacred: An Inquiry into the Limits of Rhetoric by observing that rhetoric “has always had a vexed relationship with the sacred” (2), a claim that arguably represents an understatement. The Western rhetorical tradition and the transcendent rarely, if ever, get along. Take Kenneth Burke’s (in)famous move, early in The Rhetoric of Religion, to sidestep the question of the divine and instead adopt a logological approach. To be sure, Burke is interested in language—“words-about-words” (1961, vi), in his phrasing—in part because he sees language itself as shot through with mystery or magic. Yet his logological thesis has often resulted in drawing attention away from the very thing that might make sacred or divine rhetorics worth exploring in the first place. Following the logological thesis, Margaret Zulick argues that it is not rhetoric’s “purview . . ....

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