A new, comprehensive study--the first in English in over a hundred years--of the life and writings of St. John Chrysostom by the author of Early Christian Doctrines
and Early Christian Creeds
. With scholarly confidence, Kelly forms a convincing narrative of St. John's career, always framed by a careful reading of his voluminous surviving writings. We are fortunate that St. John is among the small handful of saints about whom we have a great deal of information--St. Augustine is the only comparable case--and we owe Kelly a great debt for his patient reconstruction of events out of such a massive amount of material. There are certain disappointments, mainly in what seem to be jarring anachronisms: Kelly's passing remarks about ''what seems to us sexist language'' or about St. John lacking ''the tools of modern biblical scholarship'' tell us more about modern academic preoccupations than about John. But these deficiencies are vastly overshadowed by the solid contributions this study makes to our understanding of the life of one of our greatest saints, and of Eastern Christianity generally in a time of revolutionary change.
An Eighth Day View:
"No other author has delved so deeply into the life and work of this complex, influential, and tragic figure of the fourth century and produced such a far-ranging but precise, solidly researched, and eminently readable account. . . . Chrysostom emerges as a sympathetic and tragic figure of great integrity, whose human failings contributed and perhaps led to his downfall. . . . Kelly has used a careful analysis of many of John's writings and sermons to present new insights and to confirm details of Chrysostom's life previously considered doubtful; his comments and summaries stimulate one to turn to the originals. Those who are interested in Chrysostom or in this historical period must read this book." Catholic Historical Review "A rewarding . . . read as well as a rich mine of historical information. . . . The book] is peppered with new, revisionist insights about . . . Chrysostom's life." Bryn Mawr Classical Review"A monumental achievement, which examines with fairness and thoroughness both the primary sources and continuing scholarship on John and his often-stormy episcopacy in Constantinople." Christian Century