Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Speech Communication

Abstract

It is the thesis of this study that Aristotle's Poetics provides the basis for a method of exposition that is "distinctively appropriate" for preaching upon the narrative portions of Scripture. The relationship between Aristotelian poetics and narrative exposition of Scripture is examined in terms of the following two questions: (1) How does Aristotelian poetics meet the expository or interpretive need for narrative exposition of Scripture? (2) How does Aristotelian poetics meet the exhortatory or applicative need for narrative exposition of Scripture? The following arguments are made: (1) Aristotelian poetics provides the basis for a method of narrative exposition that unifies exposition and exhortation. Therefore, it overcomes the inherent difficulty of preaching by unifying exposition and exhortation. (2) Aristotelian poetics provides the basis for a method of narrative exposition that is distinctively appropriate to narrative. Therefore, it overcomes the inherent difficulty of narrative exposition by interpreting the form as well as the content. (3) Aristotelian poetics provides the basis for a method of narrative exposition that permits the additional development of ideas drawn from the narrative by the traditional art of homiletics. Therefore, it continues to benefit from the strength of traditional homiletics. Although exposition and exhortation are unified in the method proposed in this study, they are treated separately for clarity of presentation. Chapters two and three show how Aristotelian poetics meets the expository or interpretive need for narrative exposition of Scripture. Aristotle's theory of poetic imitation is defined and demonstrated to be distinctively appropriate for narrative exposition in medium, objects, and manner. Aristotle's theory of the poetic life-situation is defined and demonstrated to be distinctively appropriate for functioning as the bridge between the textual situation of the Scripture and the contemporary situation of the congregation. Chapter four shows how Aristotelian poetics meets the exhortatory or applicative need for narrative exposition of Scripture. Aristotle's theory of aesthetic pleasure is defined and demonstrated to be distinctively appropriate for involving the congregation in the emotional, logical, and ethical elements inherent in the narrative portion of Scripture. The concluding chapter presents a summary of the answers found for the problems proposed in the introduction.

Pages

160

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