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Wilhelm Wuellner is the father of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. Wuellner has contributed to the field in four key ways. First, he has emphasized that at no time in the history of rhetoric was rhetoric a unified or monolithic field. Second, he attributes the demise of rhetoric in the nineteenth century to the rise of Romanticism and its connection with irrationalism, as well as the profound technological shift in the media of communication with the advent of the print culture and the loss of the living word. Third, he emphasizes the counter-cultural nature of Jewish and Christian rhetoric. Finally, he has focused on the ever-present relationship between hermeneutics and rhetorics. The contributors to this collection of essays-first presented at a Claremont conference honoring Wuellner's work-discuss the ways that Wuellner has influenced the field and their own work. The list of contributors is a who's who of rhetorical scholars ranging from Vernon Robbins and Tom Olbricht to Whitney Shiner and Greg Carey. Wuellner himself contributes a new essay on the rhetoric of religion and the rhetoric of power. Together the essays provide not only a fitting tribute to the continuing influence of Wuellner and his work but also original studies of various New Testament texts read through the eyes of rhetorical criticism. Since Wuellner is well-known outside of New Testament circles, this collection will also appeal to classical rhetoricians.
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About the Author

James D. Hester, Professor of Religion, Emeritus, and Research Professor, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA. Co-Director, The Rhetorical New Testament Project, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, CA. Editor, "Rhetorics and Hermeneutics: Wilhelm Wuellner and His Influence," New York: Continuum, 2004.


Review in International Review of Biblical Studies, Vol 51: 2004/05 -Mention. Theology Digest/ Vol.52 No. 3/ Fall 2005--, "Rhetorics and Hermeneutics is a fitting tribute to the vision of Wilhelm Wuellner. The essays respond admirably to Wuellner's persistent urging that rhetorical criticism be interdisciplinary and take full advantage of modern rhetoric and related fields of study. The essays are a welcomed advance in our understanding of the interplay between rhetoric and hermeneutics. They clearly demonstrate that rhetorical invention is always a hermeneutical enterprise. In this volume rhetorical criticism has come of age!" Duane F. Watson, Professor of New Testament Studies, Malone College--Sanford Lakoff "Contemporary rhetorical approaches to the biblical text are due in no small measure to the innovative and profound work of the late Prof. Wilhelm Wuellner. In this volume of essays, students and colleagues of Wuellner pay tribute to Wuellner's groundbreaking work through a series of stimulating essays exploring the sublime and spiritual healing power of rhetorics in NT texts. Following the model of Wuellner's final essay, which is contained in this volume, these essays also reflect Wuellner's own approach to the texts, an approach of both unfeigned humility and scholarly excellence." L. Gregory Bloomquist, Professor Faculte de Theologie / Faculty of Theology Universite Saint-Paul / Saint Paul University--Sanford Lakoff "Rhetorics and Hermeneutics" is not only a richly deserved tribute to a groundbreaking Biblical scholar, it is just as importantly an explication of the recent transformation of rhetorical Biblical scholarship through a reintegration of rhetoric with hermeneutics and ethics. Shifting the emphasis of rhetorical Biblical criticism away from a rhetoric of power and toward a rhetoric of the sublime recuperates the integration of ethics and rhetoric postulated by Longinus. The studies of rhetorics and hermeneutics collected here show how Wuellner's work on the sublime delineates the many senses in which all rhetoric at its best is fundamentally religious, the sine qua non for unbounded transformation and communion. These dynamic expositions of rhetoric and hermeneutics in recent Biblical scholarship will enlighten rhetorical and Biblical scholars alike, and provide many new directions for exchanges between them." C. Jan Swearingen, Professor of English, Texas A&M University, Past President, Rhetoric Society of America--Sanford Lakoff "This excellent collection is a fitting testimony to the value and influence of Wilhelm Wuellner's accomplishments in the rhetorical study of the New Testament. These essays, including an important one by Professor Wuellner himself, demonstrate the deep significance of his work in rhetoric and hermeneutics and should be of interest not only to Biblical scholars but also to rhetoricians and other students of language and interpretation in a wide range of humanistic disciplines." Steven Mailloux, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Rhetoric, University of California, Irvine--Sanford Lakoff 'This volume...not only marks his seminal contribution but makes a serious call for engagement with it.' Seamus O'Connell, Vol 28.5, 2006--Sanford Lakoff "Journal for the Study of the New Testament " -Mention. Theology Digest/ Vol. 52 No. 3/ Fall 2005--Sanford Lakoff

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