Jackson, Jennifer (2011) ” ‘God’s law indeed is there to protect you from yourself’: The Christian personal testimonial as narrative and moral schemata to the US political apology” Language and Communication [No pagination; advanced corrected proof version]
Abstract: This paper examines the deployment of semiotic devices in several mass-mediated public apologies by US politicians and the reflexive awareness of apology as commodity in national political contexts. Beyond acts of contrition and deliverance from the clutches of sin, apology events are extremely dialogical, salient modes of sociality that reach across, arbitrate, and bond multiple publics. The paper examines how speakers toggle between particular chronotopes—of time, place, and personhood—to both shape and reflect particular presentation and participation frameworks. Of certain interest is how the Protestant testimonial informs the apology, makes way for, even necessitates future transgression as it shifts proximity between the sin of the Lost and the testimony of the Found, reinstating membership in and reinforcing a moral public.