Wilhelm Wuellner is the father of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament and his work has focused on the ever-present relationship between hermeneutics and rhetorics. He has emphasized that at no time in the history of rhetoric was rhetoric a unified or monolithic field. He attributes the demise of rhetoric in the nineteenth century to the rise of Romanticism and its connection with irrationalism, as well as the profound technological shift in the media of communication with the advent of the print culture and the loss of the living word. He emphasizes the counter-cultural nature of Jewish and Christian rhetoric. Together the essays provide not only a fitting tribute to the continuing influence of Wuellner and his work but also original studies of various New Testament texts read through the eyes of rhetorical criticism. Since Wuellner is well-known outside of New Testament circles, this collection will also appeal to classical rhetoricians..
Contemporary rhetorical approaches to the Biblical text are due in no small measure to the innovative and profound work of the late Professor Wilhelm Wuellner. In this volume of essays, students and colleagues of Wuellner pay tribute to Wuellner’s groundbreaking work through a series of stimulating essays exploring the sublime and spiritual healing power of rhetorics in New Testament texts. Following the model of Wuellner’s final essay, which is contained in this volume, these essays also reflect Wuellner’s own approach to the texts, an approach of both unfeigned humility and scholarly excellence.
—L. Gregory Bloomquist, Saint Paul University
Rhetorics and Hermenutics is a fitting tribute to the vision of Wilhelm Wuellner. The essays respond admirably to Wuellner’s persistent urging that rhetorical criticism be interdisciplinary and take full advantage of modern rhetoric and related fields of study. The essays are a welcomed advance in our understanding of the interplay between rhetoric and hermeneutics.
—Duane F. Watson, Malone College
James D. Hester is Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of the Redlands, California.
J. David Hester is an Alexander von Humbolt Research Fellow at the Interfaukultäres Zentrum für Ethik in den Wissenschaften of the University of Tübingen. He is also the adjunct Instructor of Humanities at Santa Rosa Junior College, California.