Pedagogical attitude toward the audience. Reflexions on St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews
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AbstractThe fascination with St. Paul’s activity was one of St. John Chrysostom characteristic features. In the attitude of the Antiochian we can see not only true admiration but also the will to imitate St. Paul as a guiding light of Christian involvement and activity. St. John Chrysostom has often underlined the pedagogical attitude of the Apostle towards the audi- ence in his letters. Such appraisal of the activity of the Apostle of Nations by the Patriarch of Constantinople determined his own pastoral attitude. As a result of this one of the char- acteristic features of St. John Chrysostom’s preaching is the concern for the audience that accompanied the preacher of Antioch in his homiletic activity. Chrysostom was a master of words, a tutor always dedicated to his audience. This helped with his choice of themes, the topics he discussed or the choice of time in which he undertook particular deliberations. So, controversial texts didn’t give a chance for an insightful dogmatic analysis, although none of the topics were passed over. In other words he was concerned not only with what he would convey, but also when and how he would reach the topic with the audience. St. John Chrys- ostom was aware of the perceptual limitations of his audience hence his caution. Such an approach implies great caution in dealing with his works and at the same time explains why on the one hand some allusions in the commentary to particular parts of the Holy Scripture lack, as well as, the fact that all crucial topics have been discussed by the saint of Antioch. An example of this are the homilies to Corpus Paulinum, and especially the analyzed parts from St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies to the Epistle to the Hebrews.