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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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Conclusion: “Do You See the Extent of his Adaptation?”1

Conclusion: “Do You See the Extent of his Adaptation?”1

(p.283) Conclusion: “Do You See the Extent of his Adaptation?”1
John Chrysostom on Divine Pedagogy

David Rylaarsdam

Oxford University Press

When Chrysostom urged his listeners to perceive God’s character, pedagogy, and redemptive goals, he would sometimes ask, “Do you see the extent of God’s adaptation?” Significant theologians throughout history have implicitly asked the same question as they interpreted Chrysostom in his philosophical and rhetorical contexts and according to his pastoral goals. The bishop’s intentional adaptive practices are supported by a consistent reading of God’s words and actions in Scripture, and are seeking to Christianize nothing less than the powerful culture-forming influence of Greco-Roman paideia. Taking Chrysostom’s goals and context into account, his hermeneutical method can be applied to his own work. Just as he urged his listeners to read God’s book by looking beyond the surface of God’s adaptation—not to remain at the level of types or Christ’s humanity—so too the reader of Chrysostom can look beyond the mundane appearance of his statements to the purposes and traditions which inform them.

Keywords:   adaptation, context, paideia, pedagogy, philosophy, rhetoric

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