Forms and Functions of Polyphony in Selected Doctrinal Articles of Awake! and Life Christian Magazines


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




Studies on Christian religious discourse have dealt with the nature and functions of language use in different contexts of prayer, sermon, theological discourse, the Bible and the like, paying less attention to the discursive construction of doctrinal religious ideology in Christian magazine discourse. This study however investigates the patterns of polyphonous construction of doctrinal Christian ideology in selected doctrinal articles of Awake! and Life Christian magazines. The study is oriented by Roulet’s framework for analyzing language polyphony and Van Dijk’s socio- cognitive theory of discourse. Explicit elements of polyphony, and direct quotation and indirect speech or paraphrase; and implicit elements of polyphony such as conjunction, discourse markers, and negations will be examined for the ideological functions of self-group emancipation and other group derogation, towards accounting for the various voices or viewpoints as different pointers to ideological meanings.