Communication and Rhetorical Studies
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Second Amendment, Civil Religion, Hermeneutic Fundamentalism, gun rights, gun control
The American approach to legal hermeneutics emerged from the covenant theology of the Puritans. American civil religion understands the Constitution to be based in natural laws: a secularized conception of God-given rights. To change the text would collapse the epistemological framework of the nation. When a nation sees its constitution as a sacred text, then the answer to contemporary problems cannot be to change that text; rather, it must be to return to the text with an even more fundamentalist hermeneutic. Both gun rights advocate Charlton Heston, and gun control advocate Barak Obama, argued their cases using a fundamentalist hermeneutic, drawing on American civil religious rhetoric.
Corry, S. (2021). Civil Religion and the Second Amendment (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1972
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