Gold without dross: assessing the debt of John Calvin to the preaching of John Chrysostom

Peter Moore

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The purpose of this paper is to assess an aspect of Calvin's own study of John Chrysostom. There is already an appreciation amongst scholars of Calvin's enthusiasm for Chrysostom, the man renowned for his mouth of gold. My goal in this paper is to appraise the adequacy of current studies concerning Calvin's debt to Chrysostom in the vital ministry of preaching. This paper will progress through four stages. First, I will examine Calvin's engagement with Chrysostom, focussing on his years living in Strasbourg. My decision to study Chrysostom's influence on Calvin is not eccentric; it reflects Calvin's own special interest, and at a critical time in his development as a pastor. Secondly, I will consider the use by Calvin of Chrysostom in the 'Institutio'. This will further demonstrate the importance of Chrysostom in the Strasbourg years. Thirdly, I will survey important recent scholarship on the connections between our two preacher theologians. We will discover that evidence discussed in scholarship in the 1980s about Chrysostom's impact on Calvin has more recently been overstated and misunderstood. In the fourth and final section, I will consider the need for a detailed comparison of the two preachers' sermons and I will make some tentative suggestions as to how that study might proceed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-129
Number of pages21
JournalReformed theological review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Calvin, John
  • John Chrysostom
  • preaching
  • Nachleben


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