The Literature, Rhetoric, and Values Plenary will be a debate between bestselling author Christopher Hitchens and renowned rhetoric scholar Dr. Barry Brummett. They will debate the resolution.
Religion, as a literary value, is a force for good.
One of the world’s best-known and most widely-read public intellectuals, Christopher Hitchens is known for his fearless engagement in contemporary political and cultural debates. His numerous bestsellers include God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and The Trial of Henry Kissinger as well as arguments on literary achievement such as Why Orwell Matters. He writes regularly for Vanity Fair and the online magazine Slate. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and Hardball with Chris Matthews.
Barry Brummett is the prolific author of many books about English rhetoric and literature in relation to everyday life, including the connections between popular culture (The Rhetoric of Popular Culture), apocalyptic arguments (Contemporary Apocalyptic Rhetoric), “social issues in disguise” (Uncovering Hidden Rhetorics),and the concealed messages in texts we see and hear all around us, such as political speeches and music lyrics.
Dr. Brummett and Christopher Hitchens will debate the idea of values—the beliefs and principles people use as guides towards right action in the world—in relation to the power of spoken and written words both to conceal and reveal the ideas human beings hold most dear.
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