Abstract

John Chrysostom's writings can serve as resources for the history of domestic abuse. Addressing social and economic factors that contributed to family violence, Chrysostom poignantly describes the terror of wives threatened and battered by their husbands, as well as ways in which women themselves perpetrated household violence. Chrysostom draws on classical moralist philosophy and Christian scripture to urge harmony in the household. While affirming a hierarchical model for marriage, the preacher nonetheless argues that a husband must never beat his wife under any circumstance. Despite the limits of Chrysostom's "reforming vision," his condemnation of spousal violence is far stronger than that of contemporaries such as Basil of Caesarea and Augustine.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3184
Print ISSN
1067-6341
Pages
pp. 413-442
Launched on MUSE
2004-12-15
Open Access
No
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