The Relationship Between Church and State During the Pandemic Situation. Answers from the Past of St. John Chrysostom for Our Time

20 January 2021

Saint John Chrysostom sees the beginnings of authority in man’s drive to rule over his fellow man, in a postlapsarian state. Further on, though, Saint John considers the existence of the State and obedience to authority to be beneficial in structuring societal complexity and as formatively and spiritually laden factors, part of God’s loving oeconomy. A Christian’s duty is obedience to the Church, whose Head is Christ, first and foremost. We will discuss these aspects of the relationship Church-State in two particular historical instances, the episode reflected in Saint John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Statues and the recent lockdown.