The Expressive Use of Adjectives in Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s Religious Discourse A Landmark at the Crossroads of Encountering Worlds. A Pragma-Linguistic and Stylistic Approach

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Mona-Ancuța Ionescu

Abstract

An overwhelming personality of the 20th century, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom was the spiritual head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain (1948-2003) who really raised the British people’s awareness of what Orthodoxy meant. He provided the realm of religious discourse with a particular outlook on Christianity (mainly sprung from his own revelation of the risen Christ), which he expressed in a perfectly natural and unsophisticated manner. Interestingly enough, Anthony Bloom and C. S. Lewis can be viewed as “kindred spirits”, as not only did they embrace Christianity after being non-believers, but their writing styles are also similar in that “both have an uncanny ability to explain difficult concepts with simple and engaging language” (“Beginning to Pray (A. Bloom)” [book review]). In Metropolitan Anthony’s view, Christian life represents the personal encounter with God. His discourse is in fact a place of encounters; it is where Eastern Orthodoxy meets Western spirituality, where the sacred realm meets the secular realm and, perhaps most importantly, where the metropolitan’s inner world meaningfully interacts with his addressees’ spiritual searches. We hereby examine the ways in which adjectives contribute to creating an image of a particular world in the following books: Living Prayer (1999a), School for Prayer (1999b), Meditations on a Theme: A spiritual journey (2003). Our approach relies on the Jakobsonian model (1960/1987) of language functions, Kinneavy’s (1980) Theory of Discourse, van Eemeren’s (2002) pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation and various studies on religious discourse. The current paper reveals such discourse constants as the triadic pattern of adjectival constructions, the abundant use of the adjectives “real” and “true”, as well as the presence of adjectives in parallelism and repetition. All these expressive uses of adjectives contribute to the creation of a complex network in which the world of the Gospel, the discursive ethos (conveying the author’s attitude in its diversity) and the reader’s image intermingle in a most harmonious manner.

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How to Cite
Ionescu, M.-A. “The Expressive Use of Adjectives in Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s Religious Discourse: A Landmark at the Crossroads of Encountering Worlds. A Pragma-Linguistic and Stylistic Approach”. Linguaculture, vol. 13, no. 1, June 2022, pp. 163-78, doi:10.47743/lincu-2022-1-0304.
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Author Biography

Mona-Ancuța Ionescu, Independent scholar

Mona-Ancuța IONESCU has been an English teacher at Children’s Club Sector 6, Bucharest, since September 2003. In 2016 she acquired the didactical qualification level I. Between 2018 and 2021 she was a PhD student at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Doctoral School for Languages and Cultural Identities. In October 2021 she submitted her doctoral thesis entitled “The Discursive Role of Adjectives in the Translation of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s Religious Texts”. In her teaching and academic career she has attended a large number of conferences, workshops, seminars and training courses. Also, she has written several articles approaching linguistic and methodological issues.