By Peter Auski
A historic survey of the origins, progress and decline of the "plain style", a method of theoretical discourse that mirrored the mode of expression exemplified via Christ. Peter Auksi attracts on an array of classical, biblical, patristic, medieval and Renaissance fundamental resources to provide an explanation for this complicated excellent of spiritualized rhetoric. finding the roots of the obvious variety in secular and phiosophic classicism, Auksi examines theories on classical rhetoric from Demetrius and Dionysius of Halicarnassus to Cicero and Quintilian. he indicates how biblicists intentionally remodeled a heathen mode, and demonstrates that rhetoric served a practical functionality one of the church fathers. the writer additionally discusses different responses of renaissance translators, rhetors, polemicists and humanists to the stylized medieval inheritance, paying specific attentin to the difficulty of sacred plainness in preaching.
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Additional resources for Christian Plain Style: The Evolution of a Spiritual Ideal
According to the forms of rhetoric" (310). For Puritan education, the ramification was profound: "since Scripture is eloquent, ministers must study eloquence" (310). It was not a conventional eloquence, however, just as the Bible was not a conventional authority or form of rhetoric. The sense of the Bible was always more important than its technique. Moreover, in subordinating rhetoric to logic the Puritans were probably following the teaching of Ramus and Talon. Logic invents and arranges; rhetoric embellishes.
Still scholarly ... still a cultivated achievement of the learned" (351), especially when prophets become so true to Scripture that they start producing a prose that is "a florid and lurid compound of Biblical imagery" (351). Still, compared to the metaphysical preaching of Donne or Andrewes, Puritan homilists are relatively plain as a result of stressing, first, the importance of content over form and, second, the nature of style as a mere covering, the less obtrusive the better. Miller touches on inspiration, scripturalism, and rhetorical floridity in the logical prose of his New England Puritans, but it was left to William Haller to identify "The Rhetoric of the Spirit," in his text on The Rise of Puritanism (1938), as another aspect of the peculiarly affective language devised by Puritans.
AD 80) accepts it as an unqualified convention. Roman rhetors seem convinced that they are passing on a fixed, definable codification of styles. Aulus Gellius (fl. 1* Systematic as this Roman codification was, its influence or use in the broader rhetorical culture of the expanding Hellenistic world is not at all clear-cut. Hermogenes of Tarsus, for example, a late Greek critic (b. c. AD 160) and author of Peri ideon (On types of style), makes stylistic distinctions that do not correspond to those of Quintilian.
Christian Plain Style: The Evolution of a Spiritual Ideal by Peter Auski