The Shape of Early Christian Need
This chapter explores early Christian texts on poverty responses between the fourth and sixth centuries. It applies the book's three paradigms and a vision for practical social action to the patristic writings and examples of the “Cappadocians”—Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, their sister Macrina, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus—as well as Jacob of Sarug and John Chrysostom. Topics include poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, sermons on “the love of the poor,” and patristic ideals of social justice. This chapter draws on previous academic work on these texts to here apply scholarship to pastoral applications and challenges to contemporary social action in the modern world.
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