Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Was John Chrysostom an Anti-Semite?

The Protection of Christians from Judaism

By Stylianos Papadopoulos

Like almost all ecclesiastical writers, Chrysostom also wrote about the Jews. Those who wrote against the Jews before Chrysostom were primarily the apologist Apelles (whose text was lost), Justin (Dialogue With Trypho), Tertullian and Pseudo-Cyprian. Later Philastrius of Brescia wrote about them and more occasionally by Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius the Great and the Cappadocian Fathers. The other writers, his predecessors and his contemporaries, only occasionally referred to the Jews with judgments.

Chrysostom has eight short texts, which record his homilies to the flock of Antioch in the years 386 or 387. Often these texts contain harsh expressions about the Jews and, above all, a critique of their ceremonies and customs, and of their religious behavior during the days of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Church. Of course, his criticism is not more severe than that of the Prophets and Christ himself against the Jews. But his own criticism has prompted a fierce reaction from older and contemporary writers, many of whom attribute to Chrysostom a harsh anti-Semitism, which allegedly influenced Christian writers from the fifth century onward.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Why Hasn't the Tomb of Mehmed the Conqueror Been Opened?

By Nikos Heiladakis

While the cinematic success of Fatih 1453 has broken all records for movie ticket sales in Turkey, which has been blamed even by Turkish historians for major historical inaccuracies, once again the issue of Mehmed the Conqueror's tomb and all the possible mysteries hidden there have entered into public debate, which for many is a big taboo for Turkey's very existence.

In an important interview with the Turkish daily Hurriyet on April 15, 2012, Turkish writer Ahmet Ümit presented his new book, To Kill the Sultan, a historical novel about the life of Mehmed the Conqueror. He states that there is a need to finally open his grave in order to investigate exactly what happened at his death. According to the author of the work, To Kill the Sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror probably did not die naturally but was poisoned. This fact is of great importance to Ahmet Ümit because if it proves to be the case, then, as the Turkish author argued, a major taboo will collapse Turkey's very existence. Indeed, Ahmet Ümit called Fatih's poisoning a "historical stain" and did not hesitate to even request a histological examination to determine the true cause of his death.