The Rhetoric of Faith
argues that the structure of Irenaeus's opus magnum, the Adversus Haereses
, is the argument of the Adversus Haereses
. Through a close reading of the Irenaeus's text, as well as through a comparison with Greco-Roman rhetorical texts, Scott Moringiello argues that Irenaeus structured his argument around the articles of the faith of the Church and that this structure builds on tropes found in the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition.
The argument focuses on the Adversus Haereses
, although it does begin with some discussion to put Irenaeus in the context of second century Christian literature. Moringiello concludes with a discussion of Irenaeus's Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching
Other scholars have provided introductions to Irenaeus's work, and other scholars have argued for the structural unity of the Adversus Haereses.
No other scholar, though, has argued that the faith of the Church is the basis of Irenaeus's argument. This argument, then, presents an important contribution to the field of Irenaeus studies.
Beyond the study of Irenaeus, though, The Rhetoric of Faith
offers a contribution to the field of early Christian studies. I argue that the field should focus more on how early Christian authors make their arguments by attending to the theologically-informed rhetorical strategies they use.