Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
Two sermons by Saint John Chrysostom survive from among the hundreds he preached in Antioch in the late fourth century. Though brief, each sermon covers a plethora of theological points. John was born into a wealthy Christian family in Antioch and prepared for a career in law, but ran away from home to begin a career in the Church. His pronounced ascetic practices and his remarkable eloquence caused him to be appointed chief preacher in Antioch, where he acquired the nickname “Chrysostomus,” or “Golden Mouth.” He was consecrated patriarch of Constantinople, the imperial capital, in 398. He immediately began to make powerful enemies for publicly rebuking both clergy and imperial officials for their corrupt and unchristian behavior. After he called Empress Eudoxia a thief to her face during a Sunday service, she had him banished from the city, and Chrysostom died en route to his place of exile.
Most of Chrysostom’s vast literary output exists in the form of sermons on the books of both the Old and New Testaments. Writing and preaching in flawless Greek, he left behind hundreds of sermons from his period as chief preacher in Antioch. Unfortunately, only two of the sermons on baptismal instructions for catechumens survive. They were preached during Lent of 388. Though brief, these two sermons give indications of many topics of which Chrysostom preached in more detail on other occasions. One of these sermons is addressed to male catechumens; the...
(The entire section is 909 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Baptismal Instruction Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!