This course considers rhetoric as an analytical tool for studying religion, and religious discourse as a distinctive form of, and problem for, the study of rhetoric. Through analysis of religious texts, students study the dynamics of classical rhetoric, including the three appeals (ethos, pathos, logos), the three branches (forensic, deliberative, epideictic), the five cannons (invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery), and the six parts of a speech (exordium, narration, division, proof, refutation, peroration). Students perform close rhetorical analyses and criticisms on a variety of religious texts and speeches, make regular oral presentations in class (both in groups and individually), and engage in group debate and discussion in order to acquire practical skills in the art of persuasion and public speaking. A large research project/paper is the practical focus of the semester. Affiliate department: Religion.