Discourse Analysis of Selected Bible Study Outlines of Pastor W.F Kumuyi

Discourse Analysis of Selected Bible Study Outlines of Pastor W.F Kumuyi
Discourse Analysis of Selected Bible Study Outlines of Pastor W.F Kumuyi

Abstract: This study investigated the Discourse Analysis of selected Bible Study outlines of Pastor W.F Kumuyi. The discourse and stylistic features employed in Christian Religious Discourse for the projection of meanings and intentions. The data for the study were drawn from the three randomly selected Bible study outlines of Pastor W.F. Kumuyi. To achieve its aim, the study drew insights from Searle’s (1975) Speech Acts Theory and general stylistic analytic approach. Having analysed the data, it was found out that assertive, directive and commissive acts were the predominant acts employed by the pastor, while expressive and declarative acts were sparingly used or not used at all. Also, linguistic tools like phonological, grammatical, lexical and graphological features were utilized to facilitate the flow of the message and the organisational structures of the texts.



1.1       Introduction

From the time immemorial, language has been with human beings. To some scholars, the origin of language can be traced to an ultimate language model which predates humans i.e. spoken before the creation of humans in heaven. Language, in E. Finegan (2012:6), “is often viewed as a vehicle of thought, a system of expression that mediates the transfer of thought from one person to another.” This definition can be allusively linked to the „transactional medium‟ in which the serpent subtlety conveyed its thought to convince Eve in the Biblical Garden of Eden. Also, language, which one of its most important functions is to communicate, has made humans to be at the centre of the universe.

Language is a means of communicating thoughts and social control. It is a means of individual self-expression, which makes it possible for individuals to live in a society. Language has been described by various scholars as the core of the communication process and is the pivot around which man’s social, political, economic and environmental endeavours revolve (Sadiq, 2011:12). This shows that human beings have language to achieve virtually all they desire on earth, as long as, communication is involved.

Also, language is a system that speakers, writers, and signers exploit purposefully. It is worth noting that language will just be an abstraction without being rooted in the society. Thus, the society and language are co-dependent on each other. Language is a social tool in the society. This means that society determines significantly how language is put to use in different social domains.

Oyeleye (2004:171) posits that “without communication, man cannot perform organized group processes that help to coordinate our activities in the society.” This communicativeness of language amongst humans has been the concentration of functional linguistics. Interestingly, linguists are researching extensively into different aspects of linguistics; some focusing on the form of language while others concentrate on the functions of language. Functional linguistics covers a wide range of language use above the sentence level, bringing into linguistic analysis the important of context and the intricacies involved in language use.

Discourse analysis, as one of the core areas of functional linguistics has contributed and is still contributing significantly to the understanding of language use above the sentence level. However, in spite of the tremendous effects of discourse analysis, its application has been limited to some aspects of the society or language use like text analysis, political discourse, classroom discourse, doctor-patient discourse etc., and by extension, this can be applied and greatly utilized in the understanding of religious texts in which the long essay intends to do and provides some illuminations into though conspicuous, but at the same time hidden.

1.2       Background to the Study

The belief in the other world influencing the material world is very predominant in our society. This belief is precipitated by the inadequacies of human beings to fathom or decipher some phenomena in the world. These inadequacies have made humans to try as much as possible to “reach” the other world. Interestingly, this belief and the quest to „reach‟ the other world are always and constructively expressed in language. This quest has brought  about a concept  that human beings cannot dispense with, which is “religion”.

Right from the ancient primitive societies to the modern civilized societies, religion has occupied a focal position in the lives of mortals. It has been claimed that “man is naturally religious”. Humans, therefore, build the concept of religion around some other sub-concept like God, heaven, hell, damnation, redemption, etc. For humans, the purpose of religion is solace seeking from the vicissitude of problems they continually face on the planet earth and to escape some eternal doom that cannot be unexplained scientifically.

Although different rulers of the world in the past have tried to obliterate any form of religious  belief  but  ironically,  religion  has  “outlived‟  them.  They  had  gone,  buried  and  even rotten in the graves but religion has continued to thrive boundlessly. Since human nature is dual, in the sense that, the composition of human beings is both good and evil (Genesis 3:22), religion cannot be said to be completely free of its attendant negatihttps://o9ja.ngve connotations. This has snowballed into different religious crises in the whole world in general and particularly in Nigeria and the aftermath of these crises is inexpressible. Discourse Analysis of Selected Bible Study Outlines Of Pastor W.F Kumuyi

Thus, an understanding of the workings of language in one of the major religions in the Nigeria, which is Christianity, is the focus of this research work. Particularly, the focus is delimited to concentrate solely on the understanding of the Bible Study Outline of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry by using linguistic tools to unravel it.

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