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Strange Bedfellows?

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David Brog, Josephus, and the Rhetoric of Contested Allegiances

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This paper offers a comparative analysis of two people in situations of seemingly contested allegiances: David Brog and Josephus. While the two come from wildly disparate contexts, they nonetheless employ strikingly similar rhetorical strategies as they justify their cooperation with a group to which they would otherwise appear to be categorically opposed. In this paper I examine, compare, and contrast the rhetorical strategies of both, with particular attention to strategies of legitimation (both internal and external), their reconstructions of history, and how each minimizes the importance of apocalypticism. While there is certainly more that distinguishes the two than unites them, this comparative analysis will hopefully give insight into how people navigate complex identities, particularly when those identities, at least from an outsider’s perspective, would appear to be in conflict.

Affiliations: 1: Florida State University


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