The Evangelical Rhetoric of Ramon Llull

The Evangelical Rhetoric of Ramon Llull : Lay Learning and Piety in the Christian West around 1300

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BLThe first full-length analysis of the rhetorical and preaching theories of Ramon Llull, the thirteenth century lay philosopher and theologian Johnston demonstrates how Llull adapted commonplace ideas of courtly speech and popular sermons in order to create a unitary art of secular and sacred eloquence, and shows that Llull exemplifies the development of intellectual and spiritual ideals among the growing class of educated lay people in the later Middle Ages.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 161 x 237.7 x 23.6mm | 621.43g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195090055
  • 9780195090055

Back cover copy

Ramon Llull (1232-1316), born on Majorca, was one of the most remarkable lay intellectuals of the thirteenth century. He devoted much of his life to promoting missions among unbelievers, the reform of Western Christian society, and personal spiritual perfection. He wrote over 200 philosophical and theological works in Catalan, Latin, and Arabic. Many of these expound on his "Great Universal Art of Finding Truth", an idiosyncratic dialectical system which he thought capable of proving Catholic beliefs to non-believers. This study offers the first full-length analysis of his theories about rhetoric and preaching, which were central to his evangelizing activities. It explains how Llull attempted to synthesize common-place advice about courtly speech and techniques of popular sermons into a single program for secular and sacred eloquence that would necessarily promote love of God and neighbor. Llull's work is a remarkable testimony to the diffusion of clerical culture among educated lay-people of his era, and to their enthusiasm for applying that knowledge to ideals of learning and piety.
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Review quote

This is ... a good book because it cuts Llull down to size, arguing that he was neither a 'singluar genius' not a 'scholastic giant', while bringing out the real individuality of at least some of his theories about rhetoric and speech. * D.L. D'Avray, University College, London, Ecclesiastical History 48/4 * In his scholarly study, Mark D. Johnston assesses Llull's approach to eloquence. * Times Literary Supplement *
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