A New History of Classical Rhetoric

Princeton University Press
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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.

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About the author

George A. Kennedy is Paddison Professor of Classics, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Adjunct Professor of Speech Communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 1, 2009
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781400821471
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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George A. Kennedy
New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism provides readers of the Bible with an important tool for understanding the Scriptures. Based on the theory and practice of Greek rhetoric in the New Testament, George Kennedy's approach acknowledges that New Testament writers wrote to persuade an audience of the truth of their messages. These writers employed rhetorical conventions that were widely known and imitated in the society of the times. Sometimes confirming but often challenging common interpretations of texts, this is the first systematic study of the rhetorical composition of the New Testament.

As a complement to form criticism, historical criticism, and other methods of biblical analysis, rhetorical criticism focuses on the text as we have it and seeks to discover the basis of its powerful appeal and the intent of its authors. Kennedy shows that biblical writers employed both "external" modes of persuasion, such as scriptural authority, the evidence of miracles, and the testimony of witnesses, and "internal" methods, such as ethos (authority and character of the speaker), pathos (emotional appeal to the audience), and logos (deductive and inductive argument in the text).

In the opening chapter Kennedy presents a survey of how rhetoric was taught in the New Testament period and outlines a rigorous method of rhetorical criticism that involves a series of steps. He provides in succeeding chapters examples of rhetorical analysis, looking closely at the Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus' farewell to the disciples in John's Gospel, the distinctive rhetoric of Jesus, the speeches in Acts, and the approach of Saint Paul in Second Corinthians, Thessalonians, Galatians, and Romans.

George A. Kennedy
New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism provides readers of the Bible with an important tool for understanding the Scriptures. Based on the theory and practice of Greek rhetoric in the New Testament, George Kennedy's approach acknowledges that New Testament writers wrote to persuade an audience of the truth of their messages. These writers employed rhetorical conventions that were widely known and imitated in the society of the times. Sometimes confirming but often challenging common interpretations of texts, this is the first systematic study of the rhetorical composition of the New Testament.

As a complement to form criticism, historical criticism, and other methods of biblical analysis, rhetorical criticism focuses on the text as we have it and seeks to discover the basis of its powerful appeal and the intent of its authors. Kennedy shows that biblical writers employed both "external" modes of persuasion, such as scriptural authority, the evidence of miracles, and the testimony of witnesses, and "internal" methods, such as ethos (authority and character of the speaker), pathos (emotional appeal to the audience), and logos (deductive and inductive argument in the text).

In the opening chapter Kennedy presents a survey of how rhetoric was taught in the New Testament period and outlines a rigorous method of rhetorical criticism that involves a series of steps. He provides in succeeding chapters examples of rhetorical analysis, looking closely at the Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus' farewell to the disciples in John's Gospel, the distinctive rhetoric of Jesus, the speeches in Acts, and the approach of Saint Paul in Second Corinthians, Thessalonians, Galatians, and Romans.

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