Anger in Homiletic Teaching of Saint John Chrysostom. The Analysis of Homilies on Matthew

Piotr Szczur

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland , Poland


The article is a case study of Saint John Chrysostom’s teaching on anger in his Homilies on Matthew. The author discusses only the wreath of a man, the question of God’s anger as a different research problem was omitted. Saint John Chrysostom uses two Greek nouns while describing anger: ἡ ὀργή and ὁ θυμός, which are used as synonyms without distinguishing any semantic differences between them. The preacher does not give a definition of the anger, but describes it as a passion (τό πάθος) and places it among other flaws – according to Plato’s classification – to passion of the spirited part of soul (thymoeides). He describes anger also as an illness, and by personalizing it, he says that anger is the devil. The preacher specifies many reasons for anger (jealousy, power, situation of a threat, tardiness, and devil’s action). He says also about the fatal effects of anger, which above all destroys human relations, harms spirituality, and leads to more serious misdemeanors (i.e. perjury, enmity, insult, fisticuff, and even murder). Because of that Chrysostom points out the anger prohibition expressed by Christ and Saint Paul, as well as the necessity of combating the anger, which is a crucial element of the Christian self-improvement. These efforts give spiritual fruits in the form of peace of heart and absolution of sins. The final part of the article represents an issue of justified anger which is not prohibited but also advisable against sinners, to improve their actions.


John Chrysostom, preaching, emotions, anger, justified anger, Christian self-improvement

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Szczur, P. (2022). Anger in Homiletic Teaching of Saint John Chrysostom. The Analysis of Homilies on Matthew. Vox Patrum, 82, 185–220.

Piotr Szczur
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland


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