The second half of the fourth century was a turbulent time. Bishops came and went, monks rioted, and Christianity struggled to gain a foothold against competing religions. One of the most remarkable figures that came to dominate the ecclesiastical and political landscape was John Chrysostom. This book examines Chrysostom's role as a preacher and his pastoral activities as deacon, presbyter, and bishop. Mayer and Allen draw together the latest research on preaching, the preacher's audience, and pastoral care in a comprehensive introduction. They also provide fresh and lively translations of a key selection of John Chrysostom's sermons and letters.
A valuable introduction to the processes of early Christianization
Close examination of the place of the church in late antique society
..."those interested in early Christian preaching, spiritual guidance, and social benefaction and their vital role in the Christianization of late antiquity will find this book an invaluable resource.."
-"Journal of Religion, Margaret M. Mitchell, University of Chicago
..."the selected letters in this volume are translated into modern English for the first time, as are a number of homilies... this translation is a good introduction to John Chrysostom's life and role as a preacher, as well as a presbyter and bishop alike. To those users who know no Greek, this book is a godsend; for the specialist, it provides easy access to the ecclesiastical activities and the structure of society in the second half of the fourth century A.D.."
-Helene Perdicoyianni-Paleologou, "Journal of Early Christian Studies
"The introductions are clear and the translations fluent. The book offers a wealth of useful and interesting information on Chrysostom and his times."
-Gerald H. Ettlinger, S. J., "Theological Studies
"The authors, Australians Wendy Mayer and Pauline Allen--both of whom have earned wide respect for the quality, accuracy and productivity of their research at the Centre for Early Christian Studies based at the Queensland Campus of the Australian Catholic University--have here proved themselves more than equal to the daunting task of selecting and introducing a representative range of material from the more than nine hundred sermons from John's voluminous extant corpus. What we get is a colorful snapshot of the complex social, political, and liturgical milieu of Antiochene and Constantinopolitan church life, and a varied example of the 'Goldenmouth' at his rhetoricalbest....The outstanding introduction, accessible format and broad range of content will assure this book's continuing usefulness and importance for time to come."
-Adam G. Cooper, University of Durham, UK
"Solid introductions, running cross-references to Greek editions, and ample bibliographies enhance this welcome collection, which belongs in every undergraduate, seminary, and research library."
-Georgia Frank, Colgate University in "Religious Studies Review