The boston marathon bombing and the rhetoric of sacrifice

Academic Article


  • © NAJP. This study argues that the communicative behavior of the Boston Marathon bombers is consistent with the rhetoric of sacrifice, i.e., those who use religion as justification for killing others. Specifically, this paper notes that six attributes of the rhetoric of sacrifice are consistent with the known communications of the two suspects, particularly the older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev exhibited the characteristics of (1) victimhood, (2) social isolation, (3), a religious justification for the act, (4) the use of a euphemism for “killing,” (5) personal reward from the event, and (6) narcissism linked to a triggering event.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Powell L; Hickson M; Amsbary J
  • Start Page

  • 187
  • End Page

  • 196
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 1