Robyn Whitaker

"The Rhetoric of Worship: Ekphrasis, Vision, and Persuasion in the Apocalypse to John"

I am delighted to be joining the community of Marty Center scholars that have and continue to discuss and debate matters pertaining to religion. My hope is to finish my dissertation this year and I believe being a MMC Junior Fellow affords me a stimulating and collegial environment in which to do so.

My dissertation approaches the biblical text through the lens of rhetorical-literary criticism, examining the way sight and worship are interrelated in the visions of the divine in the Apocalypse to John. As part of my argument I address issues of divine presence and absence, ancient epiphany, and the rhetorical practice of ekphrasis, all of which lead me into conversations outside my main discipline. I personally learn best through discussion, and I think I will most appreciate the demand of articulating my ideas to those outside my field and allowing their insights to hone my own. Furthermore, I hope that my research contributes to making a somewhat confusing and maligned biblical text be a little more approachable for contemporary readers, and I welcome the MMC's challenge and opportunity to address a wider audience.

Area of study: Bible - New Testament