Eloquence Divine: In Search of God’s Rhetoric

By Philip Arrington

A study of God as a rhetorical actor in the narratives of the Bible, showing how a distinctive divine rhetoric influences the events of scripture.

ISBN: 9780227176887


In recent years, keen interest has arisen among scholars regarding the connection between rhetoric and religion. This phenomenon could be due to the idea of universality that underlies these two topics or simply because of the crucial relevance they hold for the human condition. Biblical rhetorical criticism has been particularly active since 2009. The debate serves as a foundation for Eloquence Divine, which is grounded in a moderate and detached point of view that becomes helpful in seeing God as a ‘mere’ agent. In this fascinating study, God and Jesus are intended as rhetoricians who applied their own rhetoric tools in order to influence humanity’s behaviour, acts and decisions.

As an agnostic English teacher, Philip Arrington traces paths across different episodes of the Scriptures with the aim to explore basic issues, such as identifying the difference between God’s rhetoric and human persuasion, as well as the effectiveness that divine eloquence demonstrates in the narration of the Bible.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 276

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Phillip Arrington is Professor Emeritus of English and Rhetoric at Eastern Michigan University and is the author of the e-novel The Serpent’s Sage (2013) and Rhetoric’s Agons (2008).




1. Why God’s Rhetoric?
2. Invenesis – Divining Acts
3. Inventing and Arguing More Covenants
4. Inventing Final Covenants?
5. The Shape of God’s Rhetoric
6. Style – How God Puts His Case
7. Memory and Delivery Divine
8. Can God’s Rhetoric Be Judged?
9. The Perils and Promises of Exploring God’s Rhetoric



Endorsements and Reviews

Phillip Arrington asks us to regard the Word of God as inalterably, unrelievedly rhetorical, and further asks, what does this tell us about rhetoric – and about God – once we undertake a project like this one? … Whether they agree with his conclusions or not, readers will certainly learn from this discussion and, I think, be surprised at the many good insights to be discovered here.
Frank Farmer, author of After the Public Turn and Saying and Silence