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How do you incorporate the Bible into your Rhetoric classes? (Assuming you do?) I try to do this in four ways: We read the book of Proverbs (a good thing to do regularly anyway) and compile lists of verses pertaining to the tongue and to the impact that our words have on each other. Students memorize key proverbs. We review the concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos by identifying these concepts in the teachings of Jesus. (Joe Carter and John Coleman's book How to Argue Like Jesus is a great guide to making these connections.) We read Paul's sermons in the book of Acts to see how he shapes his message to connect with diverse audiences. We read at least one of Paul's letters and identify principles of classical rhetoric in the way he arranges them. (Ben Witherington has written a series of commentaries analyzing books of the New Testament from the perspective of classical rhetoric; see also his book New Testament Rhetoric: An Introductory Guide to the Art of Persuasion in and of the New Testament). (For more detail, you can see an outline I put together for an ACCS workshop proposal here: http://carychristianschool.org/Biblical_Rhetoric.pdf) What are your thoughts on the benefits of these particular exercises, and what are your own ideas on how to incorporate the Bible into Rhetoric classes?
In recent years classical presses have put out some very excellent textbooks on rhetoric and writing. Many rhetoric teachers also know (and some make use of) classic treatises or dialogues on rhetoric (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine). I'm sure quite a few folks have also used some modern textbooks that adapt traditional rhetoric (Corbett's Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student and Crowley and Hawhee's Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students). I do wonder how many teachers of rhetoric (including homeschool and co-op folks) are aware of modern supplementary rhetoric texts? Here are some books that I've made good use of as a teacher, and which I've also developed some lectures and assignments from: Silva Rhetoricae (rhetoric.byu.edu) - has good summaries of the canons, figures of speech, rhetorical exercises, etc. Figures of Speech: 60 ways to turn a phrase, by Arthur Quinn - a short, pithy handbook on figures of speech. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, by Richard A. Lanham - a short handbook that includes many rhetorical terms, including figures of speech and argument forms. A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus A-Z, by Albert W. Halsall - a well-stocked treasure trove of literary terms and devices. Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, by Ward Farnsworth - the best modern treatment of figures of speech. Farnsworth's Classical English Metaphor, by Ward Farnsworth - the same of the figures book, but for metaphors. The Legal Analyst, by Ward Farnsworth - an excellent modern resource for forensic topics / thinking. The Office of Assertion, by Scott F. Crider - a superb treatise on academic writing. There are definitely more, but these are ones I've found most helpful to me. What resources do you use in class, use to supplement what you are doing in class, or use to create lectures/assignments?
Hello everyone, I am so excited to have discovered this forum! Just to introduce myself, I have taught various composition and rhetoric classes, including senior thesis, for a number of years at a classical school. Right now I am working on an 11th grade rhetoric class and developing the "junior" thesis program at our small school, and thinking about how I might shape it differently this year. If anyone else has taught a junior thesis program, can you give me a run-down of how your school sets up the junior thesis? Is it identical to the senior thesis, but just shorter? Is the focus more narrow or the same? Do you limit subject choice or give the students free range? I am intrigued with the junior thesis to senior thesis progression could look more than one way. Thanks in advance for your comments!
I've heard Andrew Kern say that a course in rhetoric could be taught using Homer exclusively. I believe it, since Laurent Pernot notes that, "I. J. F. de Jong has calculated that in the Iliad, speeches in direct discourse, by number of verses, represent 45 percent of the entire length of the poem," not to mention that the sheer variety of speech forms in Homer's works covers the spectrum of classical genres. Similarly, much of Shakespeare's work comprises speeches in direct discourse. Though I've not read it myself, Quentin Skinner wrote a book on Shakespeare's use of formal elements from forensic rhetoric. The Poet and The Bard display the full language of life rendered most apt and most beautiful (isn't that what we want to bring about in ourselves and our students?). Not all of the speeches in Homer and Shakespeare are imitable, thus some serve as negative examples to analyze and avoid. Good modeling includes examples on every level (good, bad, mediocre). What is notable for the purposes of teaching rhetoric is that both Homer and Shakespeare afford theory and imitation, which can be put into practice--and theory, imitation, and practice make up the whole program of rhetoric in the classical tradition. One of my long-term goals is to construct a one-year course of rhetoric that used Homer and Shakespeare exclusively. In the meantime I'm trying to incorporate more Homer and Shakespeare into the courses I already teach. What do you all think of the prospect of such a project? Any else tried using Homer and/or Shakespeare to teach rhetoric?