The gospel according to glamour : a rhetorical analysis of Revolve : the complete New Testament
Bennetch, Rebekah J.
This thesis examines a new genre in Bible publishing: the “BibleZine,” a combination of the Bible with the formatting and visual elements of a teenage fashion magazine. The first BibleZine, Revolve: The Complete New Testament, appeared in the summer of 2003 and sold all of its 40,000 copies in a matter of months. This success has inspired a new line of Bible products, as several follow-up editions of Revolve and other BibleZines have flooded the marketplace. While the publisher and editors of Revolve claim that their modern creation is meant to inspire young readers to connect with the text of the New Testament, the forceful combining of the two disparate genres has produced an artifact whose form undermines and trivializes biblical content. The significance of the BibleZine’s message extends beyond its updated magazine format. This thesis uses the theories of Kenneth Burke, George Dillon, Edwin Black, and several other rhetorical critics to reveal and critique the editorial influence found in this “updated” New Testament. The analysis is divided into three chapters that examine specific elements of the carefully orchestrated BibleZine, from the impact of Revolve’s prominent magazine-like features to the pseudo-friendships the editors create to influence its young target audience. Revolve does not represent a unique way of interpreting the Bible for a new generation. It may look contemporary in its format, but Revolve masks a materialistic and highly conservative ideology that will negatively influence its young readers in how they approach matters of identity and spirituality. My analysis will reveal the numerous ways the editors of the BibleZine use and manipulate biblical sanction in order to convey a consumeristic ideology.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteePutz, Gordon; Owen, Corey; Mitchell, Christine; Reeves, Malcolm J.
Copyright DateJanuary 2009
figure and ground
Robert E. Tucker
George L. Dillon