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:

Show Summary Details


John Chrysostom's fundamental accusation against the couples living in spiritual marriage is that the apparent holiness of their lives is as much an illusion as any stage show. His argument stresses the necessity of Christian separation from the traditional values of Greco-Roman culture, especially that of philotimia, the pursuit of honor he labels “vainglory.” The form of his response to spiritual marriage reveals an engagement in the struggle over language and its control. This study has separated the various strands of Chrysostom's attack on spiritual marriage. The rich interest of his treatises emerges only when they are set where they belong, in the context of his sustained condemnation of the theater as a social and ideological reality, his uneasy relationship to the monastic movement of his day, and his understanding of the rhetorical demands of priestly correction.

Keywords: John Chrysostom; spiritual marriage; honor; Greco-Roman culture; treatises; language; monastic movement

Chapter.  2555 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.