Changing Signs of Truth
What signals are you sending when you share the gospel? The importance of signs for communicating truth has been recognized throughout the ages. Crystal L. Downing traces this awareness from biblical texts, through figures from church history like John Wycliffe...
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What signals are you sending when you share the gospel? The importance of signs for communicating truth has been recognized throughout the ages. Crystal L. Downing traces this awareness from biblical texts, through figures from church history like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, to more recent writers Samuel Taylor Coleridge and C. S. Lewis. In the nineteenth century, this legacy of interest in the activity of signs brought about a new field of academic study. In this book, Downing puts the discipline of semiotics within reach for beginners through analysis of the movement’s key theorists, Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Sanders Peirce, Mikhail Bakhtin and others. She then draws out the implications for effective communication of the gospel of Jesus Christ within our shifting cultural landscape. Her fundamental thesis is that "Failure to understand how signs work--as effects of the cultures we seek to affect--inevitably undermines not just our political and moral agendas but, worse, the gospel of Jesus Christ." Writing with humor, clarity and flare, Downing lucidly explains the sophisticated thinking of leaders in semiotics for nonexperts. Of value to all those interested in communication in any context, this work will be of special interest to students majoring in communications or English or to students in evangelism and preaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Crystal L. Downing (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is associate professor of English and film studies at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She has also taught at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Barbara. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Books and Culture, Cresset, CrossCurrents, College Literature, Literature/Film Quarterly, PMLA, Texas Studies in Literature & Language and Religion and the Arts. She is also the author of Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers (2004) and How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith (InterVarsity Press, 2006).
- List Of Illustrations
- <strong>signs Of This Book</strong>
- Preface To The Problem - Christ, Culture And Communication
- Introduction To The Solution - (re)signing Truth
- <strong>part I: Signs Of Christ And Culture</strong>
- 1. Signs Of The Times: On The Edge Of Cultural Change
- 2. Signs Of God’s Word: Following Jesus
- <strong>part Ii: How Signs Work</strong>
- 3. Identifying Signs: From Rhetoric To Semiotic
- 4. Under Signs: Structuralism
- 5. Controlling Signs: Ideology And Cultural Studies
- <strong>part Iii: Changing Signs Of Faith</strong>
- 6. Signs Of Deconstruction: Maintaining The House Of Faith
- 7. A Place For The Coin: Charles Sanders Peirce
- 8. Placing The Coin On Edge: Trinitarian Signs
- <strong>part Iv: Communication In A Pluralistic World</strong>
- 9. Si(g)ns Of Communication: (in)tolerance Versus The Gift
- 10. Antiseptic Bakhtin: Healing Signs Of The Body
- 11. Communication On The Edge: A Conclusion
- Name And Subject Index
- Scripture Index