ERIC Number: ED254892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Rhetoric of Rationalism versus the Rhetoric of Emotionalism on the American Frontier.
Hensley, Carl Wayne
As the United States entered the nineteenth century, it did so under the influence of the Second Great Awakening. This was the second wave of revivalism to sweep the nation, and it originated in the frontier as the Great Western Revival. One pertinent characteristic of the revival was its rhetoric, a rhetoric that was a prime expression of a native rhetorical theory born on the frontier. For the adherents of this frontier rhetoric, the primary criterion of success was its emotional effect on listeners. However, in the midst of frontier emotional rhetoric the Disciples of Christ came into existence. The Disciples of Christ originated as a movement dedicated to ushering in the postmillennial reign of Christ. This ultimate goal would be accomplished by evangelizing the nation and then the world. The movement grew to sizeable strength and influence with a rhetoric that was quite the opposite of frontier emotional rhetoric. Under the bold leadership of Alexander Campbell, the Disciples of Christ formulated a unique approach to conversion and conversion rhetoric. Empiricism, common sense, and lessons from classical rhetoric shaped Campbell, and Campbell shaped the disciples. The distinctive form of rationalism that characterized the movement set Campbell and his cohorts apart from most of their emotional contemporaries, and it enabled them to attract the unconverted and build strong cohesion among the converted. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Campbell (Alexander); Hermeneutics; Rationalism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (70th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1984).