Present-day preaching is so often tame and boring, but it is reported that congregations burst into applause during the sermons of the foremost representatives of the ‘golden age’ of preaching in the Early Church - not always to the joy of the preachers themselves! But what was the secret of their success? Can we learn from these preachers principles that could enrich preaching today? To grapple with this matter presumably some knowledge of classical rhetoric is necessary and of course familiarity with the sermons of the greatest preachers. To make the study manageable it might be wise to focus on just a few eminent preachers, say, Gregory of Nazianzus, Chrysostom and Augustine. As time permits, I should like to engage in this project, but since my Patristic studies hitherto have focused very largely on the Pre-Nicene Church, I scarcely know where to start! I would greatly value the advice of anyone familiar with classical rhetoric and with the sermons of these Fathers. If you think you might be able to help please contact me during the Patristics conference (there is a noticeboard for contacts), or simply leave a message and reply here at this blog and we can get in touch.
(Rev. Dr.) Andrew Daunton-Fear