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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


BONNIN, Juan Eduardo. Discourse genres in the strategy of the Argentinean Catholic Episcopate: Political aspects of religious discourse between authoritarianism and democracy (1965-1990). Rev. signos [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.72, pp.9-30. ISSN 0718-0934.

The aims of this article are a) to contribute to the comprehension of institutional religious discourse based on the analysis of the documents of the Argentinean Conference of Catholic Bishops (CEA); and b) to examine its discourse strategies during the process of transition towards democracy initiated in December, 1983. In order to do this, we look at the system of discourse genres by focusing on three of them that register a significant quantitative variation: the 'political letter' and the 'declaration', which were the most employed genres between 1965 and 1983, though both disappear in the period beginning in 1984; and the 'communiqué', which becomes the most employed genre in democracy. Our research question is, does this quantitative variation involve a qualitative change in the discursive strategies used by the Argentinean episcopate? To answer it, we compare the three genres in a synchronic and diachronic way, in both periods, adopting the perspective of German text linguistics. The findings show a reorganization of the system of genres because of tactical, not so much strategic, reasons, since the 'communiqué' absorbs the key properties of the 'letters' and the 'declarations', adapting the same belief system to new communicative circumstances, namely the political democratization of the country.

Palabras clave : Religious discourse; discourse genres; democracy.

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