Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thesis on Mother Teresa

A friend of mine (and Godmother of my daughter Anna) just finished her Master's Thesis in Communication Studies. The title of her thesis is "Give until it hurts: the speeches and letters of Mother Teresa". I told her I would read it, and I will, but it is going to hurt me to do so, because it is 100 page long - and I am not sure I will understand all the analysis she is going to put it through. But, nonetheless, a deal is a deal. If you want to read it all, then here is the link to it. The abstract is below:
Although Mother Teresa has been described as one of the most publicized women of the twentieth century, her speeches have often been criticized and/or unexamined due to their perceived rhetorical inadequacies. This thesis examines four speeches and letters by Mother Teresa using a close textual analysis. Through close textual analysis, this study finds that within the simplicity of her discourse lies a multi-faceted way of expressing her complex faith to an array of audiences. She selects from a few consistent tools of persuasion, such as the redefinition of regularly used terms such as love, poverty, and giving. She tackles multiple moral and theological matters, but explains each of them by how they relate to the topic of giving. Her words mirror the theological ideas of her religious counterparts of the twentieth century, such as Pope John Paul II. However, her discourse is unadorned, and reflects the simplicity of the life that she lived and her worldview on life.
Good job Roni! I am proud of you. Jesus is too - for evangelizing through all this hard academic work.

1 comment:

Leticia said...

My favorite take on a speech by Mother Teresa is Fr. Benedict Groeschel's.
He said she got up in front of all the academics at Harvard, and gave a talk about virginity for 45 minutes. There was absolute silence during her talk, and thunderous applause afterward.
Then,the Harvard Bookstore was swamped by customers buying dictionaries to look up the word, "chastity"!