Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English: English Studies

Committee Chair

Bob Broad


Interactions across faith and worldview difference are becoming increasingly common in many communities and around the world. These interactions can be verbally or physically violent, and even deadly, or they can be beautiful and enriching, or they can be ignored, resisted or refused. In this dissertation I put scholarship that endorses a broader conception of rhetoric in conversation with my personal experience in interfaith relations and dialogue in order to discover better ways to study these interactions. I propose and develop two constructs, "rhetorical space" and "rhetorical stance", that I use to explore and analyze people's attitudes toward and experiences of these interactions across faith and worldview difference. The data analyzed includes my own autoethnographic and participant observation data, published materials that describe or constitute interaction across faith and worldview difference, and student data from classroom research in three undergraduate courses I taught at a non-sectarian mid-western university. In addition to offering a more complete and robust understanding of these interactions across faith and worldview difference, I suggest ways to facilitate engagement that is (more) peaceful, respectful, genuine, and generous.


Page Count