the ecclesial family: john chrysostom on parenthood and children by vigen guroian

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  1. 1. The Ecclesial Family: JohnChrysostom on Parenthood andChildrenByVigen Guroian
  2. 2. About John Chrysostom Father among the saints Archbishop of Constantinople Notable Christian bishop Preacher from the fourth and fifth centuries in Syriaand Constantinople Famous for eloquence in public speaking After his death he was named Chrysostom whichmeans Golden-Mouthed He recognized by Catholic Church which considershim a saint and doctor of the church Born in Antioch He was ordained a Presbyter in 386 byBishop Flavian I of Antioch
  3. 3. About Vigen Guroian An Orthodox Christian theologian and teacher A member of the faculty of a number of collegesand universities an author of a number of books, many onmorality and ethics based on OrthodoxChristian teachings He has served on many editorial boards An Assistant Professor of Religious Studies atthe University of Virginia at Charlottesville Graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theology 1978
  4. 4. Ontological Individualism
  5. 5. The Christian Faith In Christian Education habits are reflected inthe strict divisions of instruction by age groupand the dominance of developmental modelsof child psychology that over emphasizeautonomy and cognitive capabilities. The latter has led to a neglect of effectivesocialization of Children into the Communityof Believers using the churchs own resourcesof narrative and sacramental theology
  6. 6. For St. John Chrysostom He emphasized the solidarity of humancommunity, the need for socialization of theyoung into the church, and the powerful unitiveand communicative love that the parent childnexus infuses into human society. Chrysostom proposes that the Christian Family isitself an ecclesial (or churchly) entity whereinadults and children rehearse for membership inthe kingdom of heaven
  7. 7. The Context of John ChrysostomsMinistry He applied what he had learned of the monasticdiscipline to the secular realm and insisted thateven the highest Christian virtues embodied inthe Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount(Matthew 5 7) are binding upon ail Christiansand not reserved solely for monks. He was especially troubled, even outraged, by theeagerness of some Christian parents to propeltheir children into the secular professions, whileneglecting their spiritual and moral formation. Thus, he felt especially moved to speak about therole and responsibilities of parents
  8. 8. Communal Christianity and theEcclesial Family John Chrysostoms understanding ofParenthood was biblically inspired and deeplygrounded in the Trinitarian and Christologicalteaching of the Church Human parenthood and childhood mirror thelife of the Divine Persons of the Trinity Likewise, the Godly family is an image of theChurch
  9. 9. The image of God, Original Sin, andthe Divine Model of Parenthood According to Chrysostom, the character of theecclesial family is decided largely to therelationship of husband and the wife as fatherand mother to their children. Ephesians 6:1-41Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this isright. 2 Honor your father and motherwhich is the firstcommandment with a promise 3 so that it may go well withyou and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bringthem up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
  10. 10. Baptism Chrysostoms ideas about sin and the image ofGod are also reflected in his understanding ofBaptism Chrysostom understands original sin not interms of inherited or personal guilt, but interms of an inherited mortality that causeshuman beings to sin Infants may belong to a corporate humannature
  11. 11. Salvation, Parenting and ChildrenWe cant be saved throughindividual righteousness-John ChrysostomEphesians 6:1 4The implications forparenthood are strikingChrysostoms view Love,however, is free ofsentimentalism andromanticismChrysostoms view the Loveof God is correlative with thefear of God, the respect andhonor due to God becauseGod is Holy
  12. 12. John Chrysostom He believed that the relative weakness anddependency of children set certain conditionsfor the salvation of both them and theirparents The value of children is so great in Godsestimate and their weakness equally evident,parental neglect ranks among the gravest evilsand injustices
  13. 13. Parental Responsibility for theChristian Formation of Children
  14. 14. Parental Responsibility for theChristian Formation of Children Chrysostom did not believe that the image of Godis destroyed or that has been so radicallydistorted by sin that we are forbidden to thinkabout how it might be humanly repaired orrefurbished Chrysostom exhort parents unremittingly to takeup their responsibility to influence and shape thelives of their children by example and throughcommon worship, discipline, and religiouseducation
  15. 15. La Conclusin
  16. 16. Conclusion Education of Character by John Chrysostom He employs to exhort parents to seize responsibility forthe religious and moral education of their Childrenhave to do with Leaving an impression on the soul orperson of a child Vigen Guroian said that parents are fellow workerswith Christ (1 Cor. 3:9) in the garden of childhood Chrysostom addresses the education of boys but wemay apply his advice to our daughters also First, train his soul and then take thought for hisreputation
  17. 17. References Bunge, Marcia J. The Child in ChristianThought. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B.Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001 Ginott, Haim G. Ginott, Alice and Goddard, H.Wallace Between Parent and child. New York:Three Rivers Press of Random House, Inc.,2003


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