Rhetoric: Capstone of a classical liberal arts education

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New Working Title

2016 October 19 by

Redemption and Rhetoric is off to the publisher Monday!

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St. Luke the Physician 18 Oct 16

2016 October 18 by

In observance of St. Luke the Physician, I’d like to share with you my fictional account of Luke’s eulogy on St. Paul, after his beheading by Nero, on the farm of Sister Lucina who, according to folklore, lived 2 miles out of Rome, on the way to the port of Ostia.  Folklore also holds that Paul’s remains were laid to rest on Lucina’s place.  This excerpt constitutes a brief vignette in the opening “movement” of my forthcoming novel, Paul in Spain.  Enjoy!


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Paul in Spain

2016 September 28 by

Here’s the first draft of the Table of Contents for my novel, Paul in Spain.  Fleshing out dialogue and detail, more everyday. Should be ready to propose by the end of October!  Excited . . .

(I’ve been working out these ideas and researching this project for more than 10 years.  This post constitutes a claim of intellectual property for the novel sketched herein. J.M. Tallmon, Ph.D.)

Please share with me your thoughts, impressions, or suggestions for improvement!

Paul in Spain

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7 Sept 16

2016 September 7 by

I’m proud of this page: https://www.rhetoricring.com/rhetoric-and-ethics/phronesis/the-dianoetic-virtues/

Just directed my students to it in my online rhetoric class for Wittenberg Academy.  AND I’m building dialogue along these lines, between Quintilian and St. Paul, in Spain, into my historical novel.  (Right now, in fact . . . )

Quintilian famously defines rhetoric as, “the good man speaking well.”  In my novel, St. Paul discusses with Q the ethics of rhetoric, which will shape Q’s definition, articulated years later, in his Institutes of Oratory.  This dialogue will suggest that Paul influenced Quintilian as he was forming his views.  I also have Paul sharing the gospel with Q (which has implications in his golden years, long after Paul was beheaded in Rome). Q, in turn, helps St. Paul revise a manuscript he’s working on during his missionary trip to Spain.  *stay tuned* should be on bookshelves within a year. . .

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2 Aug 16

2016 August 2 by

Here’s something kind of different.  While on the way home from the recent CCLE conference I was speaking with a new friend about the use of chiastic and kai structure in the scriptures.  When I got home to Austin, I found something interesting going on in Ephesians 1.  I thought, “Ephesians isn’t that lengthy.  I should try and render the entire epistle such that the rhetorical structure is emphasized.”

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26 July 16 Anyone interested?

2016 July 26 by

This is a killer page:  https://www.rhetoricring.com/rhetoric-and-ethics/phronesis/the-dianoetic-virtues/

I discussed briefly, at CCLE XVI, how Paul Ricoeur coined the term “dianoetic virtues” to signify Aristotle’s five intellectual virtues that, taken together, equip one to deal with wisdom of all kinds (to cultivate “mental dexterity”).  Check it out. Share your thoughts . . .

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19 July 16 CCLE XVI

2016 July 19 by

This is a place to discuss the three essays I assigned for DAY TWO . . .

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CCLE XVI 16 July 16

2016 July 14 by

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Here is a copy of “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” for your convenience . . .

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That true rhetoric is inherently ethical

2015 February 17 by

Hey friends, I have a thought:  Weaver contrasts rhetoric with “symbolic logic” in terms of the interest in the former with the actual and the interest in the latter with the abstract, then posits that:

Yet there is one further fact, more decisive than any of these, to prove that rhetoric is addressed to man in his humanity  Every speech which is designed to move is directed to a special audience in its unique situation. (We could not except even those radio appeals to “the world.” Their audience has a unique place in time.) Here is but a way of pointing out that rhetoric is intended for historical man, or for man as conditioned by history.  It is part of the conditio humana that we live at particular times and in particular places. These are productive of special or unique urgencies, which the speaker has got to recognize and to estimate.  Hence, just as man from the point of view of rhetoric is not purely a thinking machine, or a mere seat of rationality, so he is not a creature abstracted from time and place.  If science deals with the abstract and the universal, rhetoric is near the other end, dealing in significant part with the particular and the concrete.  It would be the height of wishful thinking to say that this ought not be so.  As long as man is born into history, he will be feeling and responding to historical pressures.  All of these reasons combine to show why rhetoric should be considered the most humanistic of the humanities.

I think this one observation goes a long way toward highlighting how rhetoric, once one gets beyond “mere artifice,” is inherently ethical. Your thoughts?

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Weaver on Being a Dr. of Culture

2015 January 21 by

Here’s a paper I delivered at Patrick Henry College . . .


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