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paper 1 - Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok First Term Paper Ron...

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Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok First Term Paper Ron Hock/Olanna Mills March 6th, 2009 A Microscopic View of Chreia Elaboration and Divine Providence through Greek Literary Texts The four gospels of the scripture provide detailed depictions of Jesus’ life as a teacher and are deemed a valuable legacy for Christians. Though not apparent, viewing the gospels through the eye of a literary ethnographer enables one to have a profound understanding of the world of the New Testament. In the world of the New Testament, two aspects are especially significant in that they have tremendous impact on Christians and are therefore worthy of analysis─ the structuring of arguments in speech through chreia elaboration and the Stoic concept of divine providence. This paper aims to offer a preview of the aforementioned aspects through examining a series of Greek literary texts, which include Epictetus’ A Stoic View of Divine Providence , Dio Chrysostom’s The Hunters of Euboea , and Apthonius’ Progymnasmata , and to draw parallels between these texts. Through an incisive analysis of these three texts, one can well emerge with a better understanding of the broader social and historical context in which the gospel of Matthew was written. In ancient world, aristocratic males receive tertiary education, the third stage of the education succeeding primary and secondary curriculum. Tertiary education, also known as rhetorical education, primarily focuses on speech composition and the development of one’s rhetorical skill. Students attempt to learn how to construct speeches and speak articulately through the practice of progymnasmata, a series of preliminary, compositional exercises increasing in complexity as the curriculum progresses. First, students are introduced to fables, fictitious stories that are close to truth. Following the fables are narratives, which are more complex and involve a greater number of characters. Chreiai (anecdotes), defined as “concise reminiscences aptly attributed to some person” (Apthonius 2), are among the three types of exercises the most complex ones. There are three categories of chreiai: sayings-chreiai, action-chreiai and mixed chreiai. Being one of the most popular types of literature used to preserve the wisdom of famous philosophers, chreiai are of notable
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Kwok 2 importance. In additional to this, chreiai are also significant in that through developing a sequence of arguments to elaborate and argue for the truth of a chreia, the convention of argumentation, the mindset of being eloquent and persuasive, is internalized in students’ daily lives. The third chapter of Apthonius’ Progymnasmata exemplifies how a student typically elaborates, reveals and supports the truth of a chreia. According to Apthonius, the entire argumentation elaborating and backing up a chreia can be divided into eight different parts: encomiastic heading, paraphrastic heading, rationale, from the opposite, analogy, example, testimony of the ancients and
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2009 for the course REL 121 taught by Professor Hocke during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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paper 1 - Kwok 1 Hiu Yan Grace Kwok First Term Paper Ron...

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