Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
This thesis examines and compares the religious discourse used by President George W. Bush in his September 20, 2001, address to a join session of Congress and by Osama bin Laden in his taped statement that aired on Al Jazeera television on October 7, 2001. As leaders of societies who both believe they are God's chosen people with a mission, both men relied on the religions of their respective nations to create a reality whereby one was good and the other evil. To illustrate how Bush and bin Laden achieve this, I apply the social construction of reality theory as it was originally presented by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann in the 1960s. I conclude that religious discourse allowed Bush and bin Laden to, in the words of Berger and Luckmann, "nihilate" each other rhetorically and to create and maintain their own constructions of reality---their own "symbolic universes."
Construct; Discourse; George Bush; Osama Bin Laden; President; Reality; Religious
Rhetoric; Religion; Political science
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Menegatos, Lisa, "Using religious discourse to construct reality: President George W Bush and Osama Bin Laden" (2002). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1632.