Vernon K. Robbins

Sociorhetorical Interpretation

Emory Studies in Early Christianity

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

Religious Sites in Atlanta

Emory Department of Religion

Emory Graduate Division of Religion



Socio-Rhetorical Studies (RRA-SRI)

  • RRA-Sawyer Seminars (Sep 15-16, 2014 Session) (Sep 29-30, 2014 Session)
    • L. Gregory Bloomquist, "Methodology for Rhetography and Visual Exegesis of the Gospel of John" (audio)
      • Dr. Bloomquist's paper applies various aspects of cognitive science about mind, brain, and visualization to textual interpretation. In particular, his approach features aspects of the work of Daniel Kahneman in Attention and Effort (1973); Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011), and Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky in Judgment Under Uncertainty (1982) and Choices, Values, and Frames (2000). This paper is a theoretical companion piece to Bloomquist's Mellon Sawyer Seminar paper (above) entitled "Eyes Wide Open, Seeing Nothing: The Challenge of the Gospel of John's Non-Visualizable Texture for Readings Using Visual Texture."
    • Harry O. Maier, "Paul, Imperial Situation, and Visualization in the Epistle to the Colossians" (audio) (ppt)
      • Dr. Maier's paper develops insights from his forthcoming book, Picturing Paul in Empire: Imperial Image, Text and Persuasion in Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). In particular, Maier presents an "interactionist constructivist" approach that incorporates insights of Paul Zanker's The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (1988) in the tradition of E. Panofsky's focus on iconography energized by T. Hölscher's interpretation of Roman imperial art as a semantic and communication system."
    • Brigitte Kahl, "Visualized Cosmologies of the Early Empire: Gemma Augustea, Grand Camee, and Prima Porta Statue" (audio)
    • Roy R. Jeal, "Visual Interpretation: Blending Rhetorical Arts in Colossians 2:6–3:4" (audio)
      • Dr. Jeal’s paper presents the relation of insights from Aristotle and Ezra Pound to modern cognitive theory about visualization in the mind and brain in the context of reading or hearing texts. There is special influence from Margaret Visser’s The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church (2000) in tandem with insights from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow (2011) as he interprets the visual nature of “walking in Christ,” attempts by people to “capture the Colossians,” being “full of deity bodily,” being “circumcised by burial and resurrection,” and “standing against the shadow” in Paul’s letter to the Colossians 2:6–3:4 in the New Testament.

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