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Faithful Persuasion: In Aid of a Rhetoric of Christian Theology Hardcover – 31 Dec 1991


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From the Back Cover

Over the past twenty years, scholars in a wide variety of academic disciplines have been giving increasing attention to rhetoric - the study of persuasive argument. In Faithful Persuasion David S. Cunningham offers the contemporary era's first sustained account of the relationship between rhetoric and Christian theology. Cunningham argues that Christian thinkers should abandon their attempts to codify argumentation within the canons of formal logic and suggests that they should instead come to a more organic understanding of the process of persuasion. This rhetorical approach to theology can cast new light on longstanding theological controversies and establish a new agenda for the study of the methods, sources, and norms of Christian theology. Drawing chiefly upon the rhetorical insights of Aristotle, and on the reappropriation of Aristotle's views by numerous modern rhetoricians - ranging from John Henry Newman to Kenneth Burke and Chaim Perelman - Cunningham establishes a firm foundation from which to support his central assertion that "Christian theology can best be understood as a form of persuasive argument". In addition, he explores the implications of a rhetorical method for studies in doctrinal formulation, biblical exegesis, and church history. Written for theologians, clergy members, and laypeople with a strong interest in theology, this book will introduce readers to the richness of the rhetorical tradition and its important implications for the discipline of Christian theology.

About the Author

David S. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. Until 1997 he was Associate Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota. His 1992 book "Faithful Persuasion: In Aid of a Rhetoric of Christian Theology" received first place in the 1990 Bross Prize competition.

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