Sacred Rhetorical Education in 19th Century America
Austin Phelps at Andover Theological Seminary
Michael-John DePalma, Professor of English
This book offers new insight into the ways rhetorical educators' religious motives influenced the shape of nineteenth-century rhetorical education and invites scholars of writing and rhetoric to consider what the study of religiously-animated pedagogies might reveal about rhetorical education itself.
The author studies the rhetorical pedagogy of Austin Phelps, the prominent preacher and professor of sacred rhetoric at Andover Theological Seminary, and his theologically-motivated adaptation of rhetorical education to fit the exigencies of preachers at the first graduate seminary in the United States. In disclosing how Phelps was guided by his Christian motives, the book offers a thorough examination of how professional rhetoric was taught, learned, and practiced in nineteenth-century America. It also provides an enriched understanding of rhetorical theories and pedagogies in American seminaries, and contributes deepened awareness of the ways religious motives can function as resources that enable the reshaping of rhetorical theory and pedagogy in generative ways.
Exploring the implications of Phelps' rhetorical theory and pedagogy for future studies of religious rhetoric, histories of rhetorical education, and twenty-first century writing pedagogy, this book will be essential reading for scholars and students of rhetoric, education, American history, religious education, and writing studies.