Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

B. F. McClerren


Robert Lee Russell's pulpit oratory is analyzed through a review of the literature, personal interviews and critical study of three specific sermons. The consistency of idea content and effectiveness of the preaching is evaluated according to the concepts of rhetorical analysis delineated in Nilsen's (1957) Interpretive Funnction of the Critic. Robert Russell's concepts of man [existence], ideas [knowledge], and society [values] is examined through analysis of his sermons. The results of the analysis are compared to the literature on preaching, statements from interviews with him, and comments by leaders of his congregation. It is concluded that Russell is an effective preacher and the idea content of his sermons is consistent to the literature, his own philosophy and the expectations of his church.