Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 22, “John Chrysostom” Loc. 4068-4195.
In this chapter Gonzalez introduces us to John of Constantinople, who was named “Chrysostom” or “golden-mouth” about a hundred years after his death (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4070). By training, he was a lawyer. At the age of 20 he undertook studies for baptism, which were completed three years later in Antioch (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4081). As a compromise with his mother, who did not wish him to join the monastic life, he turned their house into a monastery (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4089). After six additional years of monastic life following his mother’s death, John entered into public life as a deacon then a presbyter (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4094). In 397, the emperor sent John to Constantinople as bishop (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4098). In Constantinople, John sought reform of a lax clergy (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4110). The weak emperor’s “ruler”, Eutropius, a chamberlain, had conflicts with John, eventually seeking to arrest fugitives in the church. John did not allow this and Eutropius declined in power (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4130). Because of John’s decisions not to bow to the influence of powerful people, he fell out of favor with powerful figures in Constantinople (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4138). Chrysostom was eventually exiled (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4147) and took to writing rather than preaching. This, in turn, brought conflict between the West and East, as the bishops and leaders in Rome supported Chrysostom. A Latin delegation to Constantinople was imprisoned, tortured, and bribed prior to an attempt to drown them all (Gonzalez 2010, oc. 4172). Chrysostom was removed to a more remote community, was driven hard by his captors, and died on the way (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4184). The differences between East and West may be important. Gonzalez notes that in the East the Church tended to decline and the Empire gained strength, while in the West the Empire crumbled and the Church gained strength. This phenomenon can be seen in a comparison of Ambrose and Chrysostom (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4189).