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Document Details :
Title: Who Came to Hear John Chrysostom Preach?
Subtitle: Recovering a Late Fourth-Century Preacher's Audience
Author(s): MAYER, Wendy
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 76 Issue: 1 Date: April 2000
As interest in the question of why Christianity was so successful continues to grow and as research focuses more intently on the roles played by rhetoric, the élites, and the bishop or presbyter in Late Antique society, increasing attention is being paid to the preacher and his audience. In his ground-breaking article, “The Preacher and His Audience (AD350-400)”, Ramsay MacMullen argues that those who ordinarily came to hear John Chrysostom and other fourth-century fathers preach were a select group – from the upper-most echelons of society, wealthy, well-educated and predominantly male. While he does not deny that women of the same social stratum were present, he expects that they attended in much smaller numbers.