Identifier

etd-03022017-132655

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Descendants of Abraham: A Comparative Approach to Jewish and Islamic Rhetorics provides two important correctives to modern scholarship. It emphasizes the importance of Jewish and Islamic rhetorics typically neglected by Western-centric historians of rhetoric, and it showcases the cultural relationship between Jews and Muslims that has been typically occluded by modern scholarship. Focusing on the early Islamic world, I demonstrate instantiations of interconnectivity between Jewish and Islamic rhetoric in Arabic from the 9th-12th centuries CE. Specifically, I look at how judicial rhetoric plays an important role in the adjudication of halakha and sharia, followed by a consideration of theological rhetoric in the literature of Jewish and Muslim kalāmists. Finally, I examine modes of rhetoric in writings by al-Ghazālī and Judah haLevi. Mindful of Chaim Perelman’s dictum that rhetoric comprises “discursive means of obtaining the adherence of minds,” I argue that each of these rhetorical genres reveals moments of discursive exchange too frequently overlooked in assessments of the Judeo-Muslim relationship. Descendants of Abraham is a corrective both to Greco-Roman historiographies of rhetoric and to reductive accounts of the fourteen-century-old relationship between Judaism and Islam.

Date

2017

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Heifferon, Barbara

Available for download on Friday, February 21, 2025

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