Rhetoric, Scripture and Theology aptly describe the contents of this collection of essays from the 1994 Pretoria Rhetoric Conference. The conference marked a significant dialogue among scholars gathered from many nations to consider how rhetoric engages with the study of scripture and theology. South Africa provided a suitable context for such discussion. Although the contributors are not only from South Africa, the addressing of issues pertinent to a South African context shows through in many of the essays. Those that do not address particularly South African issues raise equally important issues regarding the topic of rhetoric and its relation to contemporary theological discourse.
Of the nineteen papers in this volume, those most pertinent to the NT field are by E. Schüssler Fiorenza on challenging the rhetorical half-turn (feminist and rhetorical biblical criticism), P. F. Craffert on reading and divine sanction (the ethics of interpreting the NT in the new South Africa), B. J. Malina on rhetorical criticism and social-scientific criticism (why won’t romanticism leave us alone?), H. J. B. Combrink on the rhetoric of Sacred Scripture, J. L. Staley on autobiographical ‘acts’ in recent biblical criticism and contemporary literary theory (the father of lies), R. Lemmer on why the possibility of rabbinic rhetorical elements in Pauline writings (e.g. Galatians) should be reconsidered, K. Yamada on rhetorical history and the literary genre of Acts, J. D. Hester on the invention of 1 Thessalonians, E.Mouton on the communicative power of Ephesians, Olbricht on the stoicheia and the rhetoric of Colossians (then and now), L. Thurén on reevaluating 2 Peter (style never goes out of fashion), and P. Germond on sex and salvation in Acts of Thomas (a rhetoric of gender in early Christianity). Also included are a preface by the editors and a ten-page introduction by P. J. J. Botha and J. N. Vorster.