Chapter

Introduction

Blake Leyerle

in Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780520215580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921634 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520215580.003.0001
Introduction

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This book presents an exploration of the role and nature of the theater in late antique urban culture. The theater in Antioch was the premier social institution. Ironically, the best source of data for the late antique theater is John Chrysostom. His tirades against the theater represent a direct attack on the late antique civic code of behavior. Chrysostom's portrait of spiritual marriage depends on and informs the theatrical themes of the first part of the study. His treatise to the women begins with a lament over the degradation of virginity by those who should have been its prime promoters. Spiritual marriage has dragged Christianity into disrepute. In a real sense, the portrait at the center of this study is not of the virgin, or of the couples, but of John Chrysostom and his self-understanding.

Keywords: theater; urban culture; John Chrysostom; Antioch; spiritual marriage; Christianity; social institution

Chapter.  4935 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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