Salvation in Stewardship: Exploring the Rhetoric of Land Ethics
Brooks, Dustin Matthew
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Using contemporary rhetorical theory of ethos as place, this paper explores the environmental rhetoric of Aldo Leopold, Wallace Stegner, and Annie Proulx, in an effort to locate effective rhetorical appeals to aid in bridging the gap that currently exists in the discourses of environmental politics and ethics. In an effort to locate a rhetorical common ground for the ethical consideration of the environment, this study presupposes that rhetoric shapes our view of responsibility, and that a land ethic shapes our view of what it means to be good stewards of the land. This paper hopes to situate a classic, yet renewed discourse of stewardship-based rhetoric that is ignited on a personal level through imaginative exercises toward a “place,” within which environmental discourse may be effectively reconciled. Within this place, all users of rhetoric are equal and dependent on the other to develop and implement real solutions toward the ethical treatment of our environment, its resources, and each other.