By Karl Moller
An research of the literary constitution and rhetorical problem that caused the construction of the publication of Amos. Moller argues that the booklet captures and offers the controversy among Amos and his 8th-century viewers. while learn within the mild of Israel's fall, the presentation of Amos suffering (and failing) to persuade his contemporaries of the approaching divine punishment features as a strong caution to next Judean readers.
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Extra info for (A) Prophet in Debate: The Rhetoric of Persuasion in the Book of Amos (JSOT Supplement Series)
99. , for instance, Trible, Rhetorical Criticism, pp. 32, 41. 100. The development of these two foci has historical reasons, which cannot be dealt with in this context. However, useful accounts of the historical development of rhetoric can be found, for instance, in Kennedy's works (cf. A. D. 300 [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972]; idem, Classical Rhetoric and Its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980]; idem, Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983]; and idem, A New History of Classical Rhetoric: An Extensive Revision and Abridgment o/The Art of Persuasion in Greece, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World and Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors with Additional Discussion of Late Latin Rhetoric [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994]).
It is interesting to note, however, that most of these focus primarily on structural issues. This is not necessarily inappropriate but it is striking that for many the investigation of structure seems to have become an end in itself,82 which, in my view, is inappropriate. In contrast, the methodological approach advocated here is a functional one—one that investigates the text with the aim to uncover the role its various literary and structural devices play in the communicative process. After what I said about the lack of attention towards the functional aspect of textual features, it comes as no surprise that rhetorical investigations of the book of Amos have, until fairly recently, been extremely rare, indeed, almost non-existent.
In fact, this is rather obvious once we consider our own intentions in saying or doing something. These may be, and often are, manifold, sometimes even conflicting—and this without taking into consideration all our subconscious intentions. It is not at all surprising, then, that a reader should uncover intentions that are embedded in the text but that the author had been unaware of, and may even claim not to have intended. Eco therefore correctly underlines, and welcomes, the fact that the number of possible interpretations is unlimited.