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Blasphemy as a speech genre

At present the problem of genristics attracts attention of a considerable number of philologists. Among other things, a separate problem arises, that of widening or narrowing of the notion of genre as a concept. The author considers it advisable to include blasphemy in the wider field of a genre, as blasphemy presumes an intention to declare the atheist stand of the speaker and, simultaneously, to discredit the position of the opponent. In the article blasphemy is defined as any kind of defamation of religious symbols, be it a verbal attack, violation of religious norms and regulations, physical destruction of holy objects as well as anticlerical activities. A classification of such activities is offered. An analysis of blasphemous inscriptions on the walls of New York subway is carried out. The author concludes that as the role of Christianity in the Western world is on the decline, the aggressiveness of blasphemous activities is proportionally decreasing too. The article compares the results of the atheist policy of the authorities in the Soviet Union to theneutral policies of the Western world and points out that the effect was virtually the same. The policy of non-involvement of the state is contrasted to the clearly hostile attitude to blasphemy in Islamic countries.

Bibliography

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Webster R. A Brief History of Blasphemy. Southwold, 1990. 152 p.
Zhelvis V. I Skvernoslovie kak sotsial'naya problema v yazykakh i kul'turakh mira [Swearing as a social problem in the languages and cultures of the world]. 2nd. ed., revised and add. Moscow, 2001. 352 p.

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