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John Chrysostom on Divine PedagogyThe Coherence of his Theology and Preaching$
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David Rylaarsdam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715382

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715382.001.0001

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Chrysostom’s Homiletical Methods

Chrysostom’s Homiletical Methods

(p.228) 6 Chrysostom’s Homiletical Methods
John Chrysostom on Divine Pedagogy

David Rylaarsdam

Oxford University Press

Chrysostom is a philosophical guide of souls by means of words. The methods of his homiletical guidance employ the same strategies as divine adaptation, including the use of images, variation, and progression. Chrysostom is highly attuned to the power of mental images and the potential to craft them. His descriptive words create a visual universe of images and scenes so that people reconceive reality. He teaches anagogical visualization so that listeners learn to see through and above and beyond the physically perceptible objects and experiences in their culture. In order to provide virtuous models, Chrysostom paints vivid images of saints, so that biblical figures, martyrs, monks, and virgins become performers of the holy. Consistent with divine pedagogy, Chrysostom also engages in psychagogy. He assumes that harsh rhetoric is a form of love, for painful surgery is sometimes required if the unhealthy are to make progress.

Keywords:   image, scene, harsh, psychagogy, model, martyr

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