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The Rhetoric of Religion

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The Rhetoric of Religion
The Rhetoric of Religion
• “The Name of the Rose”
• The Church came to control every aspect of
public an even private life. (H, p. 127-128)
Rhetoric and Christianity
• An Introduction--THE LETTER TO DAN
The Christian Era
300AD-1300AD
• Effected Public and Private Life
• Rhetoric Viewed with Suspicion
Martianus Capella
• The Marriage of Philology and Mercury
(429AD)
• Most successful book ever written.
• Seven studies of medieval curriculum.
The Seven Liberal Arts
• The trivium(three roads) and the
quadrivium(four roads)
• Trivium--grammar, rhetoric, logic
• Quadrivium--arithmetic, geometry, music,
and astronomy
• Assignment--read Dorothy L. Sayers’ The
Lost Tools of Learning.
St. Augustine
• The Architect of the Christian Era
• His conversion
• Apologetics
Augustine
• A mistress and a child
• Augustine Viewed Rhetoric with suspicion
Yet loved the study of Rhetoric
• A double conversion: Rhetoric to Sophistry
to Plato from paganism to Christianity.
• Conversion--Burgoon Judaism?
Augustine’s Confessions
• “O Lord, how long? How long, O Lord!
Will you stay angry forever?”
• Great and deep personal psychology.
• Nietzsche
Augustine on Preaching
• Rhetoric offers a means of discovering the
Truth in scripture and then it is presented to
the audience.
Augustine’s Formula
God (Ideal Truth)
• Divinely illuminated idea is symbolized in
the mind of sender=
• the sender translates the Idea into signs=
• the Idea is transmitted as sermon=
• the Idea is decoded into signs in mind of
receiver=
Ideal Truth (continued)
• the idea changes the understanding of the
receiver=
• the receiver captures the Idea+
• the Idea influences the will=
• RESULT=CONVERSION
Augustine On Preaching/
Communication
• Truth is immutable
• Communicating to Heathens: Preacher
must select signs that the heathens will
understand.
• Must imitate Christ
Augustine on Jesus and Audience
Four Audiences
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•
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Those with faith (apostles)--straight talk
Those against Jesus (you)--dialectical
The multitudes--(stories)
The children--(pure)
Aquinas( 1225-1274)
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Wealth
Scholar
Speech alone is not sufficient (Reason)
The Aristotle of Religion--Reason over
other methods such as experience, emotion,
etc
• The Theistic Proofs from reason
The Theistic Proofs
•
•
•
•
•
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Ontological (Copernicus “words only)
Cosmological
Teleological
Moral
Aesthetics--love
Answer with the least Difficulties (John
Edward Carnell)
• Faith
The Religious Rhetorical
Formula (What is Done)
•
•
•
•
Actually a circle with three tangents
Power in position(expert)
Stories (testimonies of the saved)
Sacred Texts and Traditions with power in
the words and truth by face value
(remember THE LETTER or in the name of
JESUS)
The Religious Rhetorical
Formula (How it’s Done)
• Form--declarative, clear, direct, no
refutation
• God says
• The line between God and Man
How to Counter Religious
Rhetoric
• By the Word and dialectic (me and Dr.
Burdick and the Greek and Hebrew)
• By experience (but let me tell you what
happened to me--the homosexual Christian)
So, on Rhetoric and Religion
• Augustine the heart of religion through
experience
• Aquinas the mind of religion through reason
• The paradigm shifts
• Propagation--hymns
–
–
–
–
steal away to Jesus
just as I am
a worm
in the garden, alone
Fly UP