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The Merging Of Civic Republicanism, Polite Culture, And Christianity In Hugh Blair's Lectures On Rhetoric And Belles Lettres

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Lecture 34 of Hugh Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, the last of ten lectures Blair devoted to classical rhetoric and a most interesting instance of the challenges of historical appropriation. Blair is deeply committed to classical rhetoric and therefore to the formative ideal inherent in civic republicanism. But the ethos of civic republicanism is not particularly applicable to Blair's polite Christian, Scottish commercial context. Yet Blair is unwilling to abandon the civic republicanism of the rhetorical tradition. Blair seems to reconcile the conflicting ideals of civic republicanism, politeness and Christianity. The chapter examines the tensions in Blair's Lecture 34 as he seeks to reconcile the conflicting ideals of civic republicanism, politeness, and Christianity.

Keywords: Christianity; civic republicanism; Hugh Blair; Lectures in Rhetoric and Belles Lettres; politeness



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