The white man's burden, darkest Africa, the seduction of the primitive: such phrases were widespread in the language Western empires used to talk about their colonial enterprises. How this language itself served imperial purposes--and how it survives today in writing about the Third World--are the subject of David Spurr's book, a revealing account of the rhetorical strategies that have defined Western thinking about the non-Western world.Despite historical differences among British, French, and American versions of colonialism, their rhetoric had much in common. The Rhetoric of Empire identifies these shared features--images, figures of speech, and characteristic lines of argument--and explores them in a wide variety of sources. A former correspondent for the United Press International, the author is equally at home with journalism or critical theory, travel writing or official documents, and his discussion is remarkably comprehensive. Ranging from T. E. Lawrence and Isak Dineson to Hemingway and Naipaul, from Time and the New Yorker to the National Geographic and Le Monde, from journalists such as Didion and Sontag to colonial administrators such as Frederick Lugard and Albert Sarraut, this analysis suggests the degree to which certain rhetorical tactics penetrate the popular as well as official colonial and postcolonial discourse.Finally, Spurr considers the question: Can the language itself--and with it, Western forms of interpretation--be freed of the exercise of colonial power? This ambitious book is an answer of sorts. By exposing the rhetoric of empire, Spurr begins to loosen its hold over discourse about--and between--different cultures.
Many reasons can be given for the rise of Christianity in late antiquity and its flourishing in the medieval world. In asking how Christianity succeeded in becoming the dominant ideology in the unpromising circumstances of the Roman Empire, Averil Cameron turns to the development of Christian discourse over the first to sixth centuries A.D., investigating the discourse's essential characteristics, its effects on existing forms of communication, and its eventual preeminence. Scholars of late antiquity and general readers interested in this crucial historical period will be intrigued by her exploration of these influential changes in modes of communication. The emphasis that Christians placed on language—writing, talking, and preaching—made possible the formation of a powerful and indeed a totalizing discourse, argues the author. Christian discourse was sufficiently flexible to be used as a public and political instrument, yet at the same time to be used to express private feelings and emotion. Embracing the two opposing poles of logic and mystery, it contributed powerfully to the gradual acceptance of Christianity and the faith's transformation from the enthusiasm of a small sect to an institutionalized world religion.
Reconsidering rhetoric's role throughout history, this work questions whether a list of canonical texts actually holds authority in the discussion of rhetoric, including views on figures such as Homer and Dante. It argues that rhetoric and its intellectual practices remain crucial to education.
"This book examines and establishes the importance of one aspect of popular political arguments - rhetorical features that draw upon tradition as taken-for-granted values, judgments, and calculations. It illustrates how popular political arguments draw upon this "rhetoric of right," unique to each political community, to establish the "correctness" or "rightness" of a policy proposal. It then uses that illustration to argue first that tradition in political arguments is not only present, but important; second, that tradition operates through time in a contextual rather than evolutionary manner, and third, that political theorists must take seriously the presence of tradition in political arguments in both its substance and its formal aspects." "The book is based upon a study of political arguments in the Indian religious/political movement that grew up around the Indian mystic Aurobindo Ghose and his collaborator Mirra Richard."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
"Through a close reading of the Adversus Haereses of Irenaeus of Lyon and comparison with Graeco-Roman rhetorical texts, the author makes the case that Irenaeus structured his argument around the articles of faith of the Church and shows how this structure built on tropes from the Graeco-Roman rhetorical tradition"--
Late Antiquity, the period of transition from the crisis of Roman Empire in the third century to the Middle Ages, has traditionally been considered only in terms of the 'decline' from classical standards. Recent classical scholarship strives to consider this period on its own terms. Taking the reign of Constantine the Great as its starting point, this book examines the unique intersection of rhetoric, religion and politics in Late Antiquity. Expert scholars come together to examine ancient rhetorical texts to explore the ways in which late antique authors drew upon classical traditions, presenting Roman and post-Roman religious and political institutions in order to establish a desired image of a 'new era'. This book provides new insights into how the post-Roman Germanic West, Byzantine East and Muslim South appropriated and transformed the political, intellectual and cultural legacy inherited from the late Roman Empire and its borderlands.
Witherington and Myers provide a much-needed introduction to the ancient art of persuasion and its use within the various New Testament documents. More than just an exploration of the use of the ancient rhetorical tools and devices, this guide introduces the reader to all that went into convincing an audience about some subject. Witherington and Myers make the case that rhetorical criticism is a more fruitful approach to the NT epistles than the oft-employed approaches of literary and discourse criticism. Familiarity with the art of rhetoric also helps the reader explore non-epistolary genres. In addition to the general introduction to rhetorical criticism, the book guides readers through the many and varied uses of rhetoric in most NT documents—not only telling readers about rhetoric in the NT, but showing them the way it was employed. “This brief guide book is intended to provide the reader with an entrance into understanding the rhetorical analysis of various parts of the NT, the value such studies bring for understanding what is being proclaimed and defended in the NT, and how Christ is presented in ways that would be considered persuasive in antiquity.” – from the introduction
George Kennedy's three volumes on classical rhetoric have long been regarded as authoritative treatments of the subject. This new volume, an extensive revision and abridgment of The Art of Persuasion in Greece, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, and Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors, provides a comprehensive history of classical rhetoric, one that is sure to become a standard for its time. Kennedy begins by identifying the rhetorical features of early Greek literature that anticipated the formulation of "metarhetoric," or a theory of rhetoric, in the fifth and fourth centuries b.c.e. and then traces the development of that theory through the Greco-Roman period. He gives an account of the teaching of literary and oral composition in schools, and of Greek and Latin oratory as the primary rhetorical genre. He also discusses the overlapping disciplines of ancient philosophy and religion and their interaction with rhetoric. The result is a broad and engaging history of classical rhetoric that will prove especially useful for students and for others who want an overview of classical rhetoric in condensed form.
It is perhaps a truism to note that ancient religion and rhetoric were closely intertwined in Greek and Roman antiquity. Religion is embedded in socio-political, legal and cultural institutions and structures, while also being influenced, or even determined, by them. Rhetoric is used to address the divine, to invoke the gods, to talk about the sacred, to express piety and to articulate, refer to, recite or explain the meaning of hymns, oaths, prayers, oracles and other religious matters and processes. The 13 contributions to this volume explore themes and topics that most succinctly describe the firm interrelation between religion and rhetoric mostly in, but not exclusively focused on, Greek and Roman antiquity, offering new, interdisciplinary insights into a great variety of aspects, from identity construction and performance to legal/political practices and a broad analytical approach to transcultural ritualistic customs. The volume also offers perceptive insights into oriental (i.e. Egyptian magic) texts and Christian literature.