Styles of Communication, Vol 6, No 1 (2014)

Searching the Origins of Political Discourse – An Intertextual Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech

Małgorzata Szudrowicz-Garstka


The aim of the investigation is to present the relation between political and religious discourse on the basis of intertextual elements linking the two types of discourse. A presidential speech by Ronald Reagan, delivered in the Oval Office at the White House on January 11, 1983, constitutes the material for the research. The emphasis of the study  is placed on  the fragments referring to “the shining city upon the hill”, i.e. to the most frequently used metaphor by the president. The roots of the afore mentioned parts belong to religious discourse. They can be found primarily in a sermon by John Winthrop – one of the Puritans – who came to America in 1630. Nevertheless, it is not the sole source of references. While preparing  his “Modell of Christian Charity”, John Winthrop referred  to the Bible. Words considering “the city upon the hill” are to be found in the Gospel (Mt 5, 14). The analysed fragment of the “Sermon on the Mount”, i.e., “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden (…)” deals with advice on the lifestyle of Jesus’s followers and obviously serves as an example of religious discourse as well.


Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.