AuthorStokes, Thomas Hubert, Jr.
Spirituality -- France -- History -- 17th century
Spirituality -- France -- History -- 20th century
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation examines audience, intention, and rhetoric in the writings of Blaise Pascal and Simone Weil. Despite the differences in historical period, ethnic heritage, sex, and milieux, which separate them, these two writers are astonishingly similar with regard to those for whom they wrote--audience--the subject matter of their writings--intention--and their skilled and self-conscious use of language in addressing their audiences and themes--rhetoric. Each of them wrote scientific or philosophical works, and polemical works, intended for a certain public; each of them then wrote, in the final years of their short lives, long notebook or journal entries, a record of spiritual experience which has since been edifying to others besides themselves. The guiding principle here is the function of language. This means how it works (rhetoric), but also, for what purpose (intention) and for whom (audience). We find many metaphors of function in Pascal and Simone Weil. The motivating concern of this dissertation is how Pascal and Simone Weil articulate, through language, God's response to man's yearnings toward God.
Degree ProgramFrench and Italian