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The church's identity established through images according to St. John Chrysostom

Christofis, Rev. Fr. Gus George (1991) The church's identity established through images according to St. John Chrysostom. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The topic of ecclesiology is central to current theological dialogues. The rich ecclesiological doctrine of St. John Chrysostom provides an invaluable contribution to such discussions. The main purpose of this Ph.D. thesis is to establish Chrysostom's conception of the Church through various human, social and natural images. The first section contains a concise biographical sketch of Chrysostom's life and works, a study of his ecclesiology in modem erudition and a statement of the method and data of this research. In the second, third and fourth sections, the unquestionably scriptural nature of Chrysostom's imagery offers a clear perception of the Church's origins, connections with the Old Testament, and its relationship to the Triune God, the saints and martyrs of both Covenants, humanity and creation in general. All things are renewed in the unconquerable Church of God. This new creation embodies the apostolic faith in Jesus Christ, the correct manner of worshipping God and interpreting Scripture, and has Christological and apostolic roots. Furthermore, the Church's blameless, virtuous, orderly and sacramental character, its oneness, nobility, heavenly setting and way of life, its exclusion of all sin, heresies and the devil, and its positive and saving effects upon people and the cosmos, are all concretely revealed and experienced in the local Church under the oversight of a canonical, orthodox bishop. The importance of the local Church as the visible manifestation of the One, Holy, Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church of God, and the local bishop as Christ's very image in the Church, capture Chrysostom's Pauline understanding of the bishop's role. Without the bishop, the heavenly Church of Christ cannot exist upon the earth. In the final section, a brief analysis of the subject matter is offered by way of stating the originality and sources of Chrysostom's ecclesiological imagery and the major themes (with examples) that arise from them. An appendix and a select bibliography immediately follow.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1991
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:08

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