Complete Story

CROSBY, Richard Benjamin

Summer 2009, 39:3, pages 260 - 280

Kairos as God's Time in Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last Sunday Sermon


The purpose of this article is to advance the discussion of kairos by developing it as a theory of divine timing. While some critics have noted kairos' potential for understanding "God's time," we lack a grounding of this interpretation in the close analysis of religious texts. This paper does so and asserts that kairos can be understood not only as a hermeneutic for considering temporal constraints, but also as a theory for the production of revelatory discourse and its political implications. Ultimately, the article tries to enrich our comprehension of kairos (a figure we thought we had understood) by examining an unknown text from Martin Luther King Jr. (an orator we thought we had read) as a foray into an area of our discipline that we have neglected to develop: the rhetoric of revelation.

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