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Analyzing the Religious War of Words over Climate Change

ABSTRACT

This study examines the websites of two religious organizations representing opposing sides of the religious response toward environmentalism and climate change. This research seeks to understand how each side communicates with followers. Using rhetorical framing analysis, it is shown the religious right advocates a dominion stance and uses a romance genre filled with stories, contrast, spin, appeals to logic, and rhetoric of hope and fear. The religious left advocates a stewardship stance and uses a romance genre filled with stories, appeals to logic, and rhetoric of hope. Cultural cognition theory of risk perception reveals each side subscribes to opposing cultural worldviews of an ideal society. The hermeneutical analysis suggests that the debate is not a conflict over the science of climate change but instead is a conflict over cultural worldviews of an ideal society. This manuscript offers suggestions for macromarketing in confronting the conflicting views exhibited in this study.