Abstract: This paper analyzes the rhetoric of the eighteenthcentury English debate over occasional conformity in order to develop a better understanding of how persuasive appeals to moderation were used in this particular case. This debate is noteworthy because it reveais how the eighteenth-century veneration of moderation was influeneed by the seventeenth-century Protestant reading of the New Testament. This understanding of moderation led to some of the first arguments suggesting a need for separation of church and state. Further, this example extends our theoretical understanding of moderate rhetoric when we observe its use as a justification for social change.
- Copyright 1997, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric