Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Plague of Litter: Conjecture and Definition

(The following is a rhetorical exercise. My objective here is to write at the level of conjecture and definition, but using the verb style rather than the conventional academic noun style. See Richard A. Lanham, Analyzing Prose, New York: Continuum, … Continue reading

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The Virtue of Those Who Listen to What Others Have to Say

(Note: The following is written as an exercise in rhetoric — it’s exploratory and is not meant to be exhaustive. The format is based on the outline given in Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee, Pearson, … Continue reading

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Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’: Brilliant Rhetoric

I’ve long admired Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” as a masterful and powerful composition. King wrote the letter from the Birmingham, Ala., city jailĀ AprilĀ 16, 1963, where he was under arrest as a result of civil rights demonstrations that … Continue reading

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The Atomic Bomb and World War II: Invocations of Pathos

A recent classroom discussion called my attention to the rhetorical usefulness of key traumatic events in the experience of a community. To invoke immediate pathos, the rhetor can use a reference like “9/11” to engage the audience at a gut … Continue reading

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Analysis of a Debatable Question: Circumcision for Gentile Christians in the 1st Century

Note: The following is an exercise in rhetoric. It’s not meant to be a reflection of my personal views. It likely does not identify all possible arguments for either side of the question. See Acts 15:1-31 for the relevant Biblical … Continue reading

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