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ERIC Number: EJ864937
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3759
St. Augustine and the Christian College Composition Classroom: Water into Flame
Veach, Grace
Christian Higher Education, v8 n5 p440-453 2009
Today's Christian college students are more engaged in popular youth culture and less reflective than in the past. St. Augustine's On Christian Doctrine, Book IV, gives advice to preachers, but it can easily be adapted to apply to Christian college composition classrooms. The two main sections of the article cover how to teach and what to teach according to St. Augustine. As we teach, we should give exemplary models, show sensitivity to our audience's learning, seek wisdom, delight the audience, move the audience to action, and model what we teach in our lives. As we teach disciplinary content, Augustine also instructs us to model ethical use of rhetorical tools. We should teach our students that our goal as communicators is not to impress but to communicate, not to condemn but to inspire, and not to defeat but to collaborate. As we and our students use language well, the end product can result in praise to God, as we demonstrate faithfulness even in small tasks. Not until an audience takes action does St. Augustine consider his rhetoric successful; as our students change their writing and perhaps their lives as a result of our teaching, we will know our work has borne fruit. The rhetorical concept of kairos can be a part of the Christian composition classroom as the professor and the students together learn to honor God in our communication.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A