John Chrysostom: Recommended Resources


Donald Attwater, St. John Chrysostom (Harvill, 1939). A brief, reliable account.

F. Chrysostomos Baur, John Chrysostom and His Time, 2 vol. (1960). The most complete biography of John.

Palladius, Dialogue on the Life of St. John Chrysostom, translated by Robert T. Meyer (1985). Written shortly after Chrysostom’s death.

Robert Payne, The Holy Fire (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1980). This book on the Eastern Fathers contains an excellent chapter on Chrysostom’s life and thought.

Related Works

Robert A. Krupp, Shepherding the Flock of God: The Pastoral Theology of John Chrysostom (Peter Lang, 1991). Discusses Chrysostom’s views on family, sexual questions, and other pastoral issues.

J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, Antioch: City and Imperial Administration in the Later Roman Empire (Oxford, 1972). Studies the social and political life of Antioch during Chrysostom’s day.

Margaret Schatkin, John Chrysostom as Apologist (Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, 1987). A look at John’s defense of orthodoxy.

Robert L. Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late Fourth Century, (1983). Analyzes John’s homilies on “judaizing” Christians.

John’s Writings and Sermons

The standard nineteenth-century translation of many of John’s works is A Select Library of the Nicene and post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, volumes 9–14 (Eerdmans, 1983). Another set that offers some recent translations is the Fathers of the Church Series published by Catholic University of America Press.

Other English translations include:

In Praise of Saint Paul, translated by Thomas Halton (Daughters of St. Paul, 1963). Seven sermons on the apostle.

Six Books on the Priesthood, translated by Graham Neville (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1977). John’s views on the responsibilities and temptations of the clergy.

On Marriage and Family Life, translated by Katharine P. Roth and David Anderson (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1986). Based on passages such as 1 Cor. 7, Eph. 5:22–23, and Col. 4:18.

On Wealth and Poverty, translated by Katherine Roth (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1984). Sermons on the rich man and Lazarus.

By Robert L. Wilken

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #44 in 1994]

Robert L. Wilken is professor of history at the University of Virginia. In addition to his work on Chrysostom mentioned above, he is author of A Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (Yale, 1992).
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