Category Archives: De Rhetorica

Rhetoric In the New Testament, Pt. 4 (Acts, Galatians, Thessalonians, Romans)

George Kennedy analyzes several speeches by Peter in the Book of Acts, and finds significant rhetorical features in them. For instance, Acts 1:16-22, though only six verses, appears to be an instance of a deliberative speech. This is seen, according … Continue reading

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Rhetoric in the New Testament, Pt. 3 (1 and 2 Corinthians)

“Rhetoric in the New Testament” is, of course, far too large a topic to adequately explore in a short series of posts on a blog. One purpose of this post in the series is to demonstrate, mostly from some of … Continue reading

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Rhetoric in the New Testament, Pt. 1 (What Is “Rhetoric”?)

The noted Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan has written of the fourth century Church Father Gregory of Nyssa: [He] was conscious of the cultural differences between more cultivated and “more barbarian peoples”…For him, the supreme example of how the believer could … Continue reading

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Rhetoric and Renaissance

The elevation of rhetoric in the Renaissance has a deep connection with the long-running distinction between the “active” and “contemplative” lives (vita activa and vita contemplativa). In Italy especially, the turn toward the values of the Roman Republic, with its … Continue reading

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No Intermediates

After a 15 or so page running battle about words with the Sophists Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, Socrates concludes that the problem with the Sophists is that “they cannot be made to understand intermediates.” For the Sophists, words could only mean … Continue reading

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“Foreign Patrimony”

William of Malmesbury has an interesting take on the common Medieval practice of spicing up Saints’ Lives with effusive praise modeled after ancient canons of rhetoric: “…anyone who tries to exalt verbally what is in itself of great importance wastes … Continue reading

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Roman Rhetoric and “Right Angle” Apologetics

In picking that title for this post, I am consciously aware of a double-meaning. Ultimately I am doing my series of posts on “Christian culture and classical rhetoric” for larger purposes than merely pointing out to many Catholic polemicists that … Continue reading

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