Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ioannis Bekos: John Chrysostom on Genealogy: Implications for a Critic of Late Modernity

This communication considers patristic texts as both a starting point and a corpus strongly related to our epoch aiming for the understanding of modern religious, social and political life.   Philosophical, political and historical endeavors a century ago (Schmitt, Nietzsche, Foucault, Agamben) have made evident that political and social concepts of modern life are secularized forms of Christian concepts and thus the genealogy or archaeology of concepts, ways of thinking and practices became a prominent feature in many disciplines.  This need turned scholars to the study of Bible as it was interpreted by the Church Fathers.  The very recent publication (2018) of the fourth volume of Foucault’s The History of Sexuality with the subtitle Confessions of the Flesh that is substantially based on patristic texts proves the strong relationship among Patristic tradition, modern intellectual developments and current human life.  This communication while is inspired from such relationship, it will focus on a theological genealogy laying the foundations for a patristic understanding of post- and second- modernity or in general of late modernity.  This will be achieved by looking at the concept of genealogy in John Chrysostom’s homilies on the Gospels of Matthew and John and drawing relationships with critics of modern societies. 

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