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Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, systematizes and reflects ways of influencing the motivations, attitudes, and convictions of an audience. Rhetorical techniques are utilized throughout religious traditions, being crucial to convince adherents, maintain commitment, and create plausibility for interpretations, morals, and actions. This article points out three aspects of the religion-rhetoric relationship. 1. Historically, rhetoric emerged as a communicative practice and an intellectual system in the context of Greek and Roman antiquity, and is closely related to the European history of religion and metaphysics. 2. Structurally, rhetoric is seen as a knowledge system which includes the potential for reflecting and criticizing the communicative construction of power and persuasion. Such knowledge creates a dilemma for religious systems; it is much needed and used, but it also suggests possible alternatives and contests religious truth claims. 3. Methodologically, rhetoric is introduced as an analytical tool to study religion. Questions are raised as to whether we can speak of a specific religious rhetoric, and to what degree rhetoric can be applied to non-Western cultures or to media other than language. ⸙

In recent years, the role of the body and the senses has become a crucial object of study in religious studies. This development has included a critical revision of biased categories that have confined the study of religion to either texts or abstract beliefs, or to an indisputable sui generis mode of experience. This entry presents recent developments that employ aesthetics as a scholarly concept for the study of religion, focusing on aesthetics as a theory of the senses considering how humans relate to reality through their sensory perceptions.The first section outlines different understandings of aesthetics. It highlights the shortcomings of religious studies to which the aesthetic approach has responded, and discusses what the approach can offer to an analytic perspective. The second section explores the heuristic quality of the perspective, presenting some exemplary research. Further, it is demonstrated that considering aesthetic forms and practices enhances the instruments of comparison for religious traditions and offers reflective potential by analyzing both religious and academic aesthetic theories. In closing, the social and political consequences of the aesthetic are addressed. ⸙