The role of metaphor in the sermons of Benjamin Keach, 1640--1704
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SubjectKeach, Benjamin, 1640-1704
Metaphor in the Bible
Sermons, English--17th century
This dissertation examines the manner in which Benjamin Keach used metaphors in his published sermons. The first chapter provides a thorough introduction to the dissertation, including the research objective, methodology, and source materials. Chapter 2 concerns Keach's role as a preacher. In particular, the chapter assesses the formative influences upon Keach's preaching, including the political and religious environment of England in the mid-seventeenth century. Keach's preaching in rural Buckinghamshire as well as his pastoral ministry in London are explored. Chapter 3 contains a survey of Keach's published sermons. These messages are organized into three primary groups: pastoral, doctrinal, and parabolic. Each sermon or collection of sermons is examined for general themes and textual basis. Chapter 4 considers Keach's own understanding of metaphors in general, which is necessary in order to demonstrate the ways in which Keach employed metaphors and perceived the relationship of metaphor to the task of preaching. Keach's Tropologia contains substantial material pertinent to this investigation. Chapter 5 explores the various ways in which Keach interpreted specific metaphors, both metaphors from Scripture and those from his personal experiences. His interpretive method was informed heavily by a commitment to the authority of the Bible. Chapter 6 details the manner in which Keach specifically used metaphors, and his sermons provide many supporting examples. The use of established rhetorical criteria makes possible the task of locating, categorizing, and evaluating the material. Chapter 7 synthesizes the pertinent information from the previous chapters and draws specific conclusions from the research. These conclusions support the thesis of the study and bring the dissertation to an appropriate end. This work contends that Keach utilized metaphors in his sermons as a primary means to enable a greater understanding of the biblical text and to connect readily with the intellect and emotions of his audience.