Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Wayne E. Hoogestraat


This study, as an item of scholarly research, may partially fill the existing gap in research concerning the recurrence of themes and forms of support. Whether or not themes and forms of support recur from one speaker to another, this investigation may also provide insight into the practices of homilists. If themes and forms of support do recur from an earlier speaker to a later speaker, the study may be able to assign cause for such recurrence. Any conclusions that can be drawn explaining why themes and forms of support developed by one speaker recur in the rhetoric of another speaker will provide additional insight for the serious student of homiletics. Among the earlier speakers, Russell H. Conwell seems to stand out as having exerted considerable influence as a public speaker. In an attempt to calculate the extent of Conwell's influence, Robert Shackleton said: As careful an estimate as could be made gave a conservative result of fully eight million hearers for his lectures; and adding the number to whom he has preached, who have been over five million, there is a total of well over thirteen million who have listened to Russell Conwell's voice! Conwell's most successful lecture was "Acres of Diamonds;" Temple University was founded with the profits from this lecture. In this lecture, as well as in his other addresses, Conwell stressed a theme contrary to what his audiences were accustomed to hearing from the platform.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Schuller, Robert H. (Robert Harold), 1926-2015 -- Themes, motives
Conwell, Russell Herman, 1843-1925 -- Themes, motives



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State