The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
rhetoric of religion


L'shana tovah, y'all

Submitted by Jim Aune on September 26, 2012 - 8:26am


Rhetoric and Theodicy

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 15, 2012 - 11:53am

There's an article or even book to be written on the rhetorical dimensions of the "problem of evil" or "theodicy" (justifying the ways of the Almighty to humans, as my least favorite great English poet puts it). Ron Rosenbaum, a very capable independent scholar, stepped into the conceptual and rhetorical morasse at Stanford and writes about it in the current Chronicle.


Kahn on Schmitt and Political Theology

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 29, 2011 - 12:54pm

Paul Kahn's new book on Carl Schmitt, sacrifice, and liberalism looks pretty important. Check out the ongoing discussion over at Immanent Frame (one of those must-read blogs, I think).


Blake's "Jerusalem"

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 25, 2011 - 5:53pm


Predestination and Social theory

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 19, 2011 - 1:04pm

I had a small revelation this morning, and I'm curious what the more theologically inclined among you (Joshua? Ryan?) think about it. The central problem in sociological theory since the 18th century has the been the relative role of "structure" and "agency" in society (Marx would be heavy on structural determination, classical liberals and existentialists heavy on agency, and Giddens trying to strike a middle path). Could it be that this central problem in social theory is a replaying of the Reformation debates on predestination (single and double) versus Arminianism?


Rhetoric and Irresistible Grace

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 1, 2011 - 7:01pm

One part of my education I seldom talk about is my fascination with St. Augustine of Hippo. The original topic for my doctoral dissertation was going to be about the rhetorical consequences of the doctrine of predestination. I ended up writing on Marxism instead--although the affinities between historical materialism and predestination may be rather obvious, at least for the Burkeans amongst you (if you follow a principle "to the end of the line" it often leads you to weird places you didn't want to be in when you started out).


Why I Find the New Evangelical Atheists Annoying

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 10, 2011 - 7:39pm

Yeah, yeah. The Pharyngula blogger displays considerable courage at times, but his coverage of this pseudo-debate totally misses the point. Of COURSE you can found morality on a secular basis--any reader of Aristotle, Aquinas, Maimonides, or Sen/Nussbaum know that. It's all about the human telos, accessible to Reason, and the conditions for human flourishing. The rest has to do with the Gift of Faith, which can lead one to surprises unimaginable to the secular mind.