John Chrysostom's educational ideas

Thoma-Hadjioannou, Eliana (1998) John Chrysostom's educational ideas. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

It is common in educational circles to come across discussions concerning the educational wisdom of the Church Fathers generally, and without any specific proof. The initial aim of this research was to collect the educational ideas of two or three Church Fathers in order to have a complete picture of their opinions on some special educational matters. Starting with John Chrysostom it became clear that this research could be limited exclusively to his writings because they include thousands of quotations on the subject. However, no comparison of Chrysostom's educational ideas could be made with other educationalists because Chrysostom saw everything from the perspective of the spiritual shepherd whose first concern was not so much to urge his contemporaries to send their children to school, but to make them understand their duty regarding their children's salvation. This leads to the concept of Christian education. The research then showed that there were no serious contradictions between Chrysostom and authors of books and articles on moral and Christian education. However, the main difference that could be found between Chrysostom and other educationalists is that Chrysostom wanted education in general (and not only the religious or any kind of moral lessons) as well as every aspect of life to lead the individual to a state of personal holiness. The background given in the beginning of this thesis refers to the different stages of Chrysostom's life and the factors which influenced his personality, namely his family environment, his life as a monk, priest and bishop, the social atmosphere and the church status of his times in Antioch. The second chapter includes information about pagan and Christian education of Chrysostom's times and is divided into three themes; Greco-Roman education, the Emperor Julian's time and Christian education. Before the analysis of the main subject there are a few paragraphs on Chrysostom's theological ideas regarding doctrine, Christology, original and general sin, ecclesiology, the purpose of life and philosophy. The classification of the main material referring to education according to Chrysostom is based on three topics; the teacher, the parents, and the human passions. The first topic with the title "The role of the teacher in the correct upbringing of children" is subdivided as follows: The teacher in Chrysostom's treatises on education, the office of the teacher, the teacher's relation with his disciples, the teacher's character, the teaching method and the teacher's payment. The subdivisions of the second topic with the title "The right way for parents to bring up their children" are; The significance of the parents' role in the formation of the child's character, parents must advise in a spirit of freedom, and who must participate in the children's upbringing, the father's role and the mother's role. The last topic with the title "Protecting against children's sexual desires" is subdivided as follows; Children and human passions, what can lead a child to immorality, protective forbidding and positive measures against immorality, spiritual medicine against desire, ideas on desire from Chrysostom's whole work, the control of sexual desire and the right way to behave towards those who sinned. The main conclusion of this work is that Chrysostom was totally committed to a Christian education based on high moral standards as presented in the Bible. The ultimate aim is the salvation of soul. The appendix refers to the authenticity of Chrysostom's treatise On Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring up their Children Subsequently cited as treatise On Vainglory and Education.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Religious education, Religious history, Theology
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-71503
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 14:29
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 14:29
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71503

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