This thesis attempts to account for the emergence, development, and function of Seventh-day Adventist apocalyptic rhetoric within its social context. As the title indicates, the argument is that the rhetoric was political in character, having been derived from the apocalyptic rhetoric of American "civil religion," which originated in the colonial wars with the French during the eighteenth century. After tracing the formation of Adventist rhetoric from William Miller's preaching of the Second Coming to John N. Andrew's interpretation of the third angel's message found in Revelation 14, the author concludes with an analysis of this rhetoric's influence on Adventist behavior in regard to the preeminent political reform of the day: the abolition of slavery.
All primary sources employed will be familiar to historians of Adventism--and to many non-historians as well. The novelty of this study is the manner in which it relates these sources to a wider intellectual and social context, of which few who will read this paper will have been aware. For the recovery of this context, the author has relied heavily on several recent studies on American "civil religion," the citations of which may be found in the documentation.
Jonathan M. Bulter
Paul J. Landa
Frederick G. Hoyt
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Seventh-day Adventists -- Doctrines -- History; Eschatology -- History of doctrines -- 19th century
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Smith, Jeffrey Boyd, "The Political Character of Adventist Rhetoric Until the End of the Civil War" (1983). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 944.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives