Volume 17

William of Auvergne, Rhetorica divina, seu ars oratoria eloquentiae divinae. Introduction, Text, Translation, and Notes by Roland J. Teske, S.J. xiii-465 pp., ISBN 978-90-429-2844-2, 60€/US$81.

This volume contains Professor Roland Teske's translation of William of Auvergne’s Divine Rhetoric along with the Latin text, introduction, and notes. The Latin text improves on that of the 1674 printed edition by the use of two early manuscripts of the work. William was a theologian at the University of Paris and bishop of Paris from 1228 until his death in 1249. He is mainly known for his huge Teaching on God in the Mode of Wisdom, in which he made extensive use of the works of Avicenna and Aristotle as they were becoming known through translations in order to come to some understanding of the Christian faith and philosophy. Although the majority of his writings focus upon the mysteries of the faith and philosophical questions about the nature of human beings, their God, and their world, William was also a bishop with a deep concern for his clergy and people. In his Divine Rhetoric he aimed to explain and illustrate for his priests and people the art of prayer or, as he put it in the subtitle, The Oratorical Art of Divine Eloquence. The work lists and explains seven characteristics or perfections of prayer, but it is perhaps best known for its application of Ciceronian rules of oratory to Christian oratory or prayer. 

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