James Hester


When one considers the growing number of ‘rhetorical’ readings of biblical texts published recently, both as monographs and articles, it is evident that a forceful new movement has entered into the biblical-critical world. As Wuellner (1987) has discussed, the promise of this movement is tremendous, for rhetoric leads us away from traditional content -/structure-oriented concerns of the analysis of scripture to a reading in which a text is allowed to interact, affect, strengthen and transform values and beliefs. Rhetoric concerns itself not simply with logical and rational dimensions of discourse, but emotive and imaginative. Rhetoric focuses upon context, but not just historical contexts: The audience, the reader of any age and place, becomes an active force in the interpretation, production, and persuasion of text. The promise of rhetoric to biblical criticism lies in the promise of the transformation of scholarship to the level of the interdisciplinary and the relevant, of the responsive and accountable. (Wuellner, 1987:460-463)


Rhetoric; Wuellner

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