This study analyzes the symbiotic relationship between rhetoric and homiletics. The proposed interface between the two disciplines is metaphor. Contemporary research on metaphor in philosophy, rhetoric, sociology, and theology is employed to produce a rhetorical/metaphorical homiletics. This work attempts to return rhetoric to its traditional position as a conversation partner with homiletics. The author argues that a metaphorical, rhetorical approach to preaching is more faithful to the scriptures than the classical dependence on the canons of formal logic. The use of metaphor allows the preacher to choose the imagination over the rational paradigm as he/she creates new worlds of meaning for congregations.
Rodney Kennedy is Senior Minister at Clinton United and Clear Creek United Methodist Churches in Lake Charles, Louisiana and teaches in the Communication Department at Southeastern Louisiana University.