Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Final Exam Essays: Kekoa Riggin

Short Essay [399 words]


Tertullian posed the question, “What has Rome to do with Jerusalem?” He was not asking about political affairs between two cities, but what the Roman philosophy and education had to do with the religious realm and Christian literature. Ironically, Tertullian himself, among others, serves as an example of the strong connection of figurative Rome and Jerusalem. This connection continues today and can be seen clearly in the modern American Christian faith.

In the time of Tertullian, the Romans found themselves the heirs of the philosophies of ancient rhetoricians. An education in rhetoric was very valuable to Roman citizens, and Tertullian was one of the fortunate as an educated citizen. Even his phrase (quoted above) is a clear example of metalepsis—replacing a term with a related thing. He was educated in rhetoric, but Tertullian was first and foremost a Christian scholar. His phrase shows his desire to separate the worldly from the spiritual, but talk is cheap. Tertullian’s legacy is the creation of the idea of the Trinity. His definition cannot be easily found in Holy Scripture but is an explanation that he created based on logic and based on rhetoric.  Although he preached separation of worldly logic and religious themes, Tertullian shows that the two are intertwined. I guess you can take the boy out of Rome, but you can’t take Rome out of the boy.

St. Augustine is a character similar to Tertullian. Augustine wrote De doctrina christiana, which explains the duties of a preacher. Augustine taught that a preacher has the duty to teach the doctrine, to entertain the audience, and to persuade. These three concepts are similar to the purposes of many rhetorical figures, which makes sense since Augustine was an educated rhetorician before a Christian scholar. It seems he, like Tertullian, could not help but employ his Roman education on his religious work.

Today, the effects of rhetoric on religion, specifically American Christianity, are all-too apparent. The splitting of religious sects shows how individuals are deciding for themselves what religion should be as if worshipping God is some kind of rhetorical debate. This video shows how Augustine’s duties for the preacher have become priority over religious content and even a relationship with God. Rhetorical turmoil has and does surround the religious realm. If Tertullian were here today, I would only have one question for him, “What has Rome not to do with Jerusalem?”

Short Rhetorical Analysis [500 words]


Jacob’s discourse in chapters 2 and 3 follows, almost exactly, the flow of Greek oration, clearly demonstrating each section of classic arrangement.

Jacob begins with the exordium, where he establishes his ethos and describes his purpose. In verses 1-5 of chapter two, he explains that he is called of God, drawing on the supernatural to gain authority in his speaking. He also expresses his personal emotions to show his true his virtue in speaking to this people. Jacob completes his exordium by expressing his purpose in verses 6-11. He states that he has been instructed to call the people to repentance, thus ending his exordium.

True to classic arrangement, Jacob continues with the narratio of his discourse. Contrary to the classic invention of narratio, Jacob employs only a short narration of the actions that create the Kairos for his discourse. From verse 12 through 14, his narratio describes how the people had been blessed with riches, leading them to pride and wicked actions.

After the account of events, Jacob moves on to his partitio or propositio where he clarifies his main topic and outlines what he will talk about for the remainder of his discourse. Jacob closes his comments on pride because it is only a minor topic, somewhat of a gateway drug to what the real problem: the iniquity of the people. In this sense, his narratio served to show a relationship between a small issue (pride) and the larger topic at hand (iniquity). Here the events in the narration lead to the big problem in a sort of enumeratio creating a climax. He emphasizes the magnitude of iniquity by expressing his wish that the problem had only been pride (a statement of opatio), ending his partitio.

The confirmatio, spanning verses 24-35, is where he makes his logical appeal. Based mostly on the authority of God and the document of scripture, Jacob shows that the people must repent.

With little transition, Jacob moves into his refutatio, addressing the objections to his message. He first addresses those who have not committed the iniquities in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 3. These people are simply exempt from what has been previously said of those who have. But in verses 3-6, he iterates what was said during the confirmatio, effectively refuting his first refutation. He then, in verses 7-9, goes on to refute what had been said about the Lamanites being better than those who commit iniquity. He uses deliberative discourse here, advocating for the Lamanites who have “good” reason for the evil they do.

Finally, Jacob finishes his discourse with the peroratio. He makes his pathetic appeal here by reminding the audience of their children and their fatherly duties. He calls them to action, adding valuable pieces of information via epanodos to inspire the audience to take action on his words. The last thing he does, maintaining a true peroratio, is recount various pieces of data about the discourse, the Kairos, and the record in which all is kept. 

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