Rhetoric and Reality in Early Christianities (Studies in by Willi Braun

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By Willi Braun

Probably the most urgent concerns for students of faith issues the position of persuasion in early Christianities and different religions in Greco-Roman antiquity. The essays in Rhetoric and fact in Early Christianities discover questions about persuasion and its dating to early Christianities. The members theorize approximately persuasion because the influence of verbal performances, resembling argumentation in response to ideas of rhetoric, or due to different varieties of functionality: ritual, behavioural, or imagistic. They talk about the connection among the verbal functionality of rhetoric and different performative modes in producing, maintaining, and transmitting a persuasive type of religiosity. The essays during this ebook disguise a large chronological diversity (from the 1st century to overdue antiquity) and numerous topical examples give a contribution to the collection’s thematic centre: the family members between formalized and technical verbal performances (rhetoric, texts) and different kinds of persuasive performances (ritual, practices), the social agendas that early Christians pursued via verbal, rhetorical performances, and the bigger social context within which Christians and different spiritual teams competitively jockeyed to draw the minds and our bodies of audiences within the Greco-Roman global.

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Extra resources for Rhetoric and Reality in Early Christianities (Studies in Christianity and Judaism)

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Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Buchheit, Vinzenz 1960 Untersuchungen zur Theorie des Genos Epideiktikon von Gorgias bis Aristoteles. Munich: Max Hueber. 22 WILLI BRAUN Burkert, Walter 1985 Greek Religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Debray, Régis 2000 Transmitting Culture. Trans. Eric Rauth. New York: Columbia University Press. 2004 God: An Itinerary. Trans. Jeffrey Mehlman. London: Verso. de Certeau, Michel 1984 The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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It may be a “god with a god’s power,” or it may be a “human malady” (a)nqrw/pinon no/shma) or a “mental ignorance” (yuxh==j a)gno/hma). Whatever it is, it, like speech, imposes itself with irresistible force. The inherent risk of communication generally is the possibility of either not coming to voice or not coming to audition. Cf. this timeless lament: “Everyone babbles the words, but few obtain thereby a stronger faith” (Johann Valentin Andreae 1622, in Sabean 1984: 1). Paradoxically and understandably, it is this detachment of rhetoric from the aims of serious pleading on high-stakes issues, whether intellectual, moral, legal, political, or religious, that would put the “serious” rhetoricians in the quandary of how to distinguish their honourable and noble speech-crafts from those rhetoricians who had usurped the very same techniques for unabashed theatrical performance, for entertaining “spin” and unscrupulous deception that treated the audience as mere gulls.

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