Jean Chrysostome et le pouvoir de la musique

TitleJean Chrysostome et le pouvoir de la musique
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBroc, C
EditorPinault, G-J
Ancient AuthorsJoannes Chrysostomus Scr. Eccl. (TLG 2062)
Book TitleMusique et poésie dans l’Antiquité. Actes du colloque de Clermont-Ferrand, Université Blaise Pascal, 23 mai 1997
Series TitleCollection ERGA 2
Pagination85-96
PublisherPresses Universitaires Blaise Pascal
CityClermont-Ferrand
ISBN9782845161757
Abstract

John Chrysostom (354-407 A.D.) shares with many Patriarchs an ambiguous judgement concerning music. He is traditionally mentioned as responsible of the two principal liturgies of the Orthodox Church. Whereas the pagan music is condemned absolutely and without reservation, much value is seen in a music that would be Christian, and even spiritual and 'divine'. Images pertaining to music are willingly used by the theologian in order to make understood dimensions and states of the soul. It is obvious that the preacher has to acknowledge a real power of music, and tries to define his own position about the art and its effects.
Beyond the common culture of his time, the position of John Chrysostom shows several characteristics that are peculiar to him. The most striking feature is the recognition of a political power of music, that can be used in wordly life for practical purposes. It can be observed in the contentions that opposed the preacher to enemies of the Church, to wit the Jews on the one hand, the Arians on the other hand. On the deepest level, liturgical music is taken very seriously by John Chrysostom, as can be shown especially by his interest for the Sanctus song. Here would lie one of the reasons for attributing the 'Divine liturgy' to this famous Saint. [abstract, John Chrysostom and the power of music p. 125]