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ERIC Number: ED184168
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Obscurantist Design in Saint Augustine's Rhetoric.
Wiethoff, William E.
This paper examines Saint Augustine's obscurantist preferences in popular preaching (as distinguished from his episcopal instructions to other clergy) as a way of identifying one of the classical influences on Christian rhetorical strategy. The first section of the paper offers a comparison of Augustine's theoretical approval of homiletic obscurantism with allied classical perspectives by outlining the summary of classical obscurantist theory provided by three Hellenistic rhetoricians and by surveying Augustinian tracts intimately related to his rhetorical theory. The second section illustrates classically approved methods of obscurantist diction, composition, and brevity in Augustine's homiletic models for the major liturgical feasts of Western Christianity. The conclusion of the paper addresses the critical advantages of recognizing an obscurantist "compromise" in early Christian rhetoric. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 10-12, 1980). Best Available Copy.