Rhetorical Theory and Christianity

Darlene Sybert (c557506@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Fri, 2 Aug 1996 09:11:03 -0500

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> I'm wondering if Mike means that a person
> can't be a Christian and a rhetor?
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> Why, then, can't we extend ourselves to understand and respond to papers that
> take on a Christian perspective?
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I think these are valid and important questions.
Are we as instructors supposed to be undermining students'
beliefs (in whatever, not just Christianity) by refusing to
allow them to use "authorities" we see as susupect? Or are
we supposed to be teaching them to THINK about their sources
carefully and teaching them to handle any data from any source
in a responsible way?

THis is not unrelated to the earlier discussion. If our concern
is to teach students to be persuasive, and it is easiest to write
persuasively about something you are convinced is true, why
would we reject a student's paper about his faith or using the
Bible or the Koran or whatever as one of his sources?

And this is not just a rhetorical question. Last summer, I
had a foreign student away from home for the first time. He
was convinced that Amercans would try to undermine his faith in
Allah and the Koran...so he would not write about anything but
that. So how should an instructor handle that situation?

Darlene Sybert
University of Missouri at Columbia (English)
TuTh 12:30-2:00 Tate Hall, Room 16 (Knock)
They say that Hope is happiness;/ But genuine Love must prize the past
And Memory wakes thoughts that bless/ They rose the first--they set the last.
And all that Memory loves the most/ Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost/ Hath melted into Memory.
Alas! it is delusion all;/ The future cheats us from afar/
Nor can we be what we recall,/ Nor dare we think on what we are. -Byron