Original Research - Special Collection: Mission and Ethics

John Chrysostom and the mission to the Goths: Rhetorical and ethical perspectives

Chris L. de Wet
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1220 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1220 | © 2012 Chris L. de Wet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2012 | Published: 29 June 2012

About the author(s)

Chris L. de Wet, Department of New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


This study examines the role of John Chrysostom as bishop-missionary to the Goths in Constantinople. After Theodosius declared Nicene orthodoxy to be the only valid and legal faith, a potent programme to establish orthodoxy in Constantinople had begun, with bishops like Gregory Nazianzen and Nectarius promoting the cause. During and shortly after Chrysostom’s arrival in Constantinople, most of the Arians were Goths, and Chrysostom became personally involved in their affairs. In the light of this, the study specifically looks at how Chrysostom constructs and negotiates barbarian identity, with special emphasis on the rhetorical and ethical dimensions of his involvement; with emphasis on the trajectories provided by Foucault and De Certeau for understanding rhetoric, ethics and identity. It is specially asked whether Chrysostom could escape the classical Graeco-Roman habitus of barbarism and the normativity of the free, male Roman body.


Mission; Ethics; John Chrysostom; Goths


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Crossref Citations

1. Paul and Christian Identity-Formation in John Chrysostom's HomiliesDe Laudibus Sancti Pauli Apostoli
Chris L. de Wet
Journal of Early Christian History  vol: 3  issue: 2  first page: 34  year: 2013  
doi: 10.1080/2222582X.2013.11877283