If it is a distinction and not a dichotomy, it is still a distinction worth maintaining. To abandon the distinction too quickly is to lose sight of important textual features. So, for example, Gaffney (1981) alludes to some of the rhetorical features of De officiis ministrorum, but he does not carry them forward into his thematic and material judgment on Ambrose's originality.
CICERO, AMBROSE, AND AQUINAS “ON DUTIES”OR THE LIMITS OF GENRE IN MORALS
Version of Record online: 17 AUG 2005
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 485–502, September 2005
How to Cite
Jordan, M. D. (2005), CICERO, AMBROSE, AND AQUINAS “ON DUTIES”OR THE LIMITS OF GENRE IN MORALS. Journal of Religious Ethics, 33: 485–502. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2005.00231.x
- Issue online: 17 AUG 2005
- Version of Record online: 17 AUG 2005
- moral rhetoric;
To compose a Christian book on exemplary Christian living, Ambrose appropriates and criticizes Cicero's book on “duties,”De officiis. In many passages within the moral part of his Summa of Theology, Thomas Aquinas incorporates quotations from both Cicero and Ambrose. Comparison of the three texts raises issues about the relation of genres to terms, arguments, rules, and ideals in religious teaching. Genre becomes a useful category for analyzing religious rhetoric only when it is conceived as a set of persuasive or pedagogical relations below a text's surface disposition.