By Willi Braun

Probably the most urgent matters for students of faith issues the function of persuasion in early Christianities and different religions in Greco-Roman antiquity. The essays in Rhetoric and fact in Early Christianities discover questions about persuasion and its courting to early Christianities. The members theorize approximately persuasion because the impact of verbal performances, reminiscent of argumentation in line with ideas of rhetoric, or due to different forms of functionality: ritual, behavioural, or imagistic. They speak about the connection among the verbal functionality of rhetoric and different performative modes in producing, maintaining, and transmitting a persuasive type of religiosity. The essays during this publication hide a large chronological variety (from the 1st century to overdue antiquity) and numerous topical examples give a contribution to the collection’s thematic centre: the family members between formalized and technical verbal performances (rhetoric, texts) and different kinds of persuasive performances (ritual, practices), the social agendas that early Christians pursued via verbal, rhetorical performances, and the bigger social context within which Christians and different spiritual teams competitively jockeyed to draw the minds and our bodies of audiences within the Greco-Roman global.

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18 I am speaking categorically, but I allow for admission of the fact that metaphorical (comparative, analogic) speech often is supportive of the status quo, is about stability rather than change. For example, “the emperor is to his slaves as a father is to his son” by analogy extends the value of hierarchical status relation from one domain to another in what amounts to a plea for the stability and universality of such relations. See Tambiah (1973: 211–12); Paine (1981: 187–88). 19 I have in mind J.

He recommends that it transmits itself into the psyche by sight, rather than aurally. It may be a “god with a god’s power,” or it may be a “human malady” (a)nqrw/pinon no/shma) or a “mental ignorance” (yuxh==j a)gno/hma). Whatever it is, it, like speech, imposes itself with irresistible force. The inherent risk of communication generally is the possibility of either not coming to voice or not coming to audition. Cf. this timeless lament: “Everyone babbles the words, but few obtain thereby a stronger faith” (Johann Valentin Andreae 1622, in Sabean 1984: 1).

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. (forthcoming) Lincoln, Bruce 1989 Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification. New York: Oxford University Press. Loraux, Nicole 2002 The Divided City: On Memory and Forgetting in Ancient Athens. Trans. Corinne Pache with Jeff Fort. New York: Zone. MacDowell, D. , ed. and trans. 1982 Gorgias, Encomium of Helen. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press. Mack, Burton L. and Vernon K. Robbins 1989 Patterns of Persuasions in the Gospels.

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