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Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom

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David C. Ford lets John Chrysostom speak for himself, bringing the wisdom of the ancient Christian father to bear on gender issues. Drawing heavily from Chrysostom’s homilies and other primary sources, he illuminates Chrysostom’s teachings on marriage, sexuality, gender roles in the family and church, and his view of women in general. Analyzing Chrysostom’s views on these issues, Ford shows that the Early Fathers were not the misogynists some have claimed.

See how Chrysostom reveals God’s triune glory in marriage. Tap into the wisdom of the ancient church and apply it to gender issues today. Flesh out Chrysostom’s rich, and often misrepresented views of sexuality and the sexes. Ford’s work brings Chrysostom into the twenty-first century, both for couples navigating marriage today and scholars studying the church of the ancient world.

Logos helps you get the most out of Ford’s work. Study Ford’s texts alongside a library of patristic studies and primary sources, while the extensive footnotes link to Chrysostom’s homilies. Research Paul’s use of “submit” and other important terms with original language tools, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take your study with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

  • Presents a complete view of John Chrysostom’s theology of men and women
  • Discusses the roles of men and women at home and in the church
  • Compares the views of the Eastern and Western Church Fathers
  • Differences between Major Eastern and Western Church Fathers on Women and Sexuality
  • St. John Chrysostom’s Theology of Marriage
  • On Marriage and Virginity
  • St. John Chrysostom’s View of Women in Generally
  • Order in Creation and in the Godhead
  • On the Interrelationship between the Sexes: In Theory
  • The Relationship of the Sexes in the Family
  • The Interrelationship of the Sexes in the Society at Large
  • The Interrelationship of the Sexes in the Church
  • Conclusions

Top Highlights

“Necessities, not superfluities’ was his motto: ‘For everything there [in one’s dwelling] ought to be necessary and useful, and not superfluous.’” (Page 99)

“Exaggeration, of course, was one of the standard techniques of the rhetorician” (Page 92)

“consecrated virginity is the highest possible way of life for a Christian” (Page 78)

“The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosened through the obedience of Mary” (Page 13)

“dark view of sexual intercourse even within Christian marriage.” (Page 22)

Dr. David Ford’s articulate and lucid prose, as well as his broad familiarity with the writings of St. John Chrysostom—the most influential biblical commentator in Eastern Christianity—make this book a most welcome and valuable contribution to Christian understanding of human nature, accessible to lay reader and specialist alike. It should be required reading for all who are interested in the deeper aspects of patristic thought on questions of human sexuality, man-woman relationships, and the roles of men and women in family, church, and society.

—Alexander Golubov, associate professor of spirituality and academic dean, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

It is necessary to read the writings of the Church Fathers, especially their popular sermons, with accuracy and empathy within the Church’s total life and witness rooted in the Bible. David Ford does just this in his exhaustive study of St. John Chrysostom’s teachings about women and men, gender and sexuality, marriage and monasticism, and spiritual life and service in the Christian church. He examines the saint’s thought on these complicated and controverted issues with care and compassion. His work is a rare gift for which faithful Christians will surely return admiration and gratitude.

—Thomas Hopko, professor of systematic theology and dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

[Through his] careful textual analysis of the writings of John Chrysostom, . . . David Ford has opened a broad window of access to these questions that has not been looked through before. Look through this window, I plead with you. Let the wisdom found there illumine present dilemmas of sexuality, family, and marriage. I pray that this book may become a means of grace to women and men seeking to embody the praise of God in their sexual and spiritual lives.

Thomas C. Oden, professor of theology, Drew Graduate School and Seminary

  • Title: Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom
  • Author: David C. Ford
  • Publisher: St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 265

David C. Ford is assistant professor of church history at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Mary, Coauthored Marriage As a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints.


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    Digital list price: $16.99
    Save $3.00 (17%)