Internal rhetoric describes how individuals engage in self-persuasion. Jean Nienkamp developed a theory of internal rhetoric by drawing on both the rhetorical tradition and the field of psychology. I build on Nienkamp's work by arguing that the Christian meditative practice outlined by Joseph Hall in The Arte of Divine Meditation (1607) and Edmund Calamy in The Art of Divine Meditation (1634) provides a theoretical and practical framework for performing a particular kind of internal rhetoric in which people become the rhetorical critic by reading their own beliefs and knowledge and then become the rhetor by composing self-directed arguments. This process of internal rhetoric aims to increase understanding, rouse affections, and change behavior. Synthesizing Hall and Calamy's meditative approach to internal rhetoric with Gregory Schraw's model of metacognition creates a more complete theory and practice of internal rhetoric, a practice that transforms the very nature of the individual. By bringing scholarship from multiple disciplines into conversation with one another, we can better understand how internal rhetoric is enacted and how to teach it.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Vanhille, Jared, "Cultivating Internal Rhetoric: Lessons on Self-Directed Rhetoric from Protestant Meditation Manuals and Modern Metacognitive Theory" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9030.
internal rhetoric, self-persuasion, meditation, metacognition, Renaissance rhetoric