"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Demons, Psychology, and Chrysostom

The lunatic fringe in both Catholicism and whatever this thing called American evangelicalism is, have both been active in the last few days, flinging around in absurd and irresponsible manner the language of both angels and demons in a desperate and risible attempt to claim that the removal of the manifestly worst president in American history was somehow the result of supernatural forces which they claimed to "rebuke" and "exorcise." 

No real churchman of any intelligence or seriousness would go within a thousand miles of such antics, including John Chrysostom, subject of a new study: Samantha L. Miller, Chrysostom's Devil: Demons, the Will, and Virtue in Patristic Soteriology (IVP Academic, 2020), 216pp. About this new book the publisher tells us this: 

For many Christians today, the notion that demons should play a role in our faith―or that they even exist―may seem dubious. But that was certainly not the case for John Chrysostom, the "golden-tongued" early church preacher and theologian who became the bishop of Constantinople near the end of the fourth century. Indeed, references to demons and the devil permeate his rhetoric. But to what end? In this volume in IVP Academic's New Explorations in Theology series, Samantha Miller examines Chrysostom's theology and world, both of which were imbued with discussions about demons. For Chrysostom, she contends, such references were employed in order to encourage Christians to be virtuous, to prepare them for the struggle of the Christian life, and ultimately to enable them to exercise their will as they worked out their salvation. Understanding the role of demons in Chrysostom's soteriology gives us insight into what it means to be human and what it means to follow Christ in a world fraught with temptation and danger. In that regard, Chrysostom's golden words continue to demonstrate relevance to Christians in today's world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...