The reconstruction of a sermon is a task we cannot perform. Even as we contemplate it, many imponderables arise.
Are we reconstructing the experience of some person who heard the sermon? Or perhaps the sound that arrived at a certain location in the sermon’s venue? What of the environment during the address? How about changes in volume, tone, inflection, pitch (and were these intentional or environmental)? The speaker’s body movements, facial expressions, pauses, speed of delivery. All these things and many more could be observed by a listener and may be intentional on the part of the speaker in conveying the message of the speech act. Do we seek to determine what was “in the mind of the speaker” or what was in the mind of a listener or listeners? Are those ever in sufficient alignment that completion of one task completes the other?
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