Rhetorical Analysis Of Jonathan Edwards

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Jonathan Edwards: A student of Aristotle
In order to spread religious revitalization in Enfield, Connecticut a colonial American preacher, Jonathan Edwards, gives a sermon entitled Sinners in the hands of an angry God. This would become Edward’s most recognizable sermon and draw its reverence from the reaction it produces in the congregation at Enfield. Edwards provokes cries for salvation and repentance with his words using Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion ethos, land pathos. Jonathan Edwards believes in fear as motivation for conformance and uses these three modes of persuasion effectively in his most famous sermon, Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.
Edwards uses ethos throughout his sermon. Ethos is the credibility of the
…show more content…
Once Edwards establishes fear in his audience he decisively extinguishes any thought of escape by proving the unchallengeable power of God using several metaphors. He conveys to the congregation that the strength one possesses on earth is nothing compared to the power of God by stating, “greatest earthly potentates, in their greatest majesty and strength… are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator…” (288-289). Lastly, Edwards petitions to the desperation of his audience by pointing out the opportunity they possess now to repent. These actions by Edwards display how he uses ethos as a mode of …show more content…
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
Anthology of American Literature. Ed. McMichael et al. 9th ed. Vol 1. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2007. 281- 298.
Forrer, Richard. “The Puritan Religious Dilemma: The Ethical
Dimensions of God’s Sovereignty.” Journal of the America Academy of Religion. 44.4 (Dec 1976): 613-628. Oxford University Press. 5 Mar. 2009. .
Gallagher, Edward J. “’Sinners in the Hands of Angry God’: Some
Unfinished Business.” The New England Quarterly. 73.2 (Jun, 2000): 202-221. The New England Quarterly Inc. 5 Mar. 2009. .
Steele, Thomas J. and Delay, Eugene R. “Vertigo in History: The
Threatening Tactility of ‘Sinners in the Hands.’” Early American Literature. 18.3 (Winter 1983/1984): 242-256. University of North Carolina Press. 5 Mar. 2009. .
Turley, Stephen Richard. "Awakened to the Holy: "Sinners in the
Hands of an Angry God" in Ritualized Context." Christianity & Literature 57.4 (Summer2008 2008): 507-530. Humanities International Complete. EBSCO. J.W. Joyner Library. Greenville, NC. 5 Mar. 2009

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