Mindset, Moral Choice and Sin in the Anthropology of John Chrysostom

Mindset, Moral Choice and Sin in the Anthropology of John Chrysostom

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Simply put, sinners by nature or sinners by choice are the traditional

positions of Western and (Near) Eastern branches of the Church. John

Chrysostom, an early fifth century Bishop of Constantinople, took the latter

position. Having gained a basic anthropology from his training in the Greek

paideia, he understood the mindset (γνώμη) to be the centre of

responsibility of the person. Repeatedly in his homilies, the γνώμη is held

responsible for sin in action, thought, and intention. The mindset evaluates

passions and thoughts, and then directs the προαίρεσις (the moral choice)

towards the end decided by the γνώμη. The γνώμη, a store of deliberated

attitudes, is the very lodging-place of sin in the psyche. Chrysostom,

holding our basic nature to be unchangeable, found in the γνώμη, a faculty

of the soul distinct from nature, a citadel of sin needing to be overcome by

the power of the Gospel. Then the person with a renewed mindset sets about

shaping it to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Ray Laird has been lecturing in Church History and Theology for over thirty

years in Bible/theological colleges in Australia, and has served as Principal

of two colleges and Dean of the South Australian Graduate School of

Theology. He has worked closely with the Australian College of Theology,

serving on their Academic boards, committees, as Head of the Department

of Christian Thought, examiner, moderator, and interim Dean. He holds a

B.A. (hons.) First class, with university Medal, from Uni. Qld., a B.D. from

MCD, a research M.A. from Newcastle (NSW), and a Th.D. from the

Australian College of Theology. He was awarded the Medal of Order of

Australia Award (OAM) "For service to the study of theology" in 2011.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 308 pages
  • 148.08 x 210.06 x 16.51mm | 371.04g
  • Strathfield, Australia
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0980642833
  • 9780980642834