Rhetoric in the Monastic Tradition presents a series of "test
cases" in rhetorical theory. John P. Bequette explores several
important texts from the Western monastic tradition through the
lens of ancient rhetoric, using the figures and topica of the Roman
rhetorical tradition to exposit the texts in all their depth. This
tradition, filtered through Augustine's De Doctrina Christiana,
provides a useful hermeneutic to unlock the inexhaustible riches of
the texts that comprise the monastic tradition from 500 to 1100
A.D. Each chapter focuses on a specific text to understand the
relationship between human language and divine revelation as
expressed by the monastic author in question. Texts include the
Rule of St. Benedict, Bede's Advent Homily on Mark 1:4-8, Anselm's
Letter to Lanzo, Peter Damian's The Book of "The Lord Be with You,"
and sermons thirty-five through thirty-eight of Bernard of
Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs.
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