|Chapter 1:||The Da Vinci Code Controversy|
How do we know what we know about Jesus and his times? The dogma of Christianity is widely known and deeply felt by many, but evidence and context about Christ—and his humanity, the chosen gospels of the Bible, and the mythic power of the Church—have been less well-explored. It would appear that the Zeitgeist of the nation has become more questioning on these matters and no number of calls for boycotts of the film could adequately address them.
Ours is a time of skepticism.
Religion, Rhetoric, and Church Ethos
Special techniques may be required if churches are to communicate to followers using the World Wide Web. One way of assessing this is through an examination of “online ethos,” much in the tradition of ethos-driven persuasion. Going back to Aristotle, ethos has been among the triad of available means of persuasion, which also include logos and pathos (Frobish, 2006). Generally, logos was an appeal to the reason of the message receiver, whereas pathos appealed to emotion. The third leg of this early persuasion model has been used by the Vatican for a long while: ethos or an appeal based upon the reputation or character of the message sender. Ruling authorities or those in power often pump the ethos component, an example of which would be an assumption such as “the Church, with its dominance and unique holiness, knows best.”