Maxwell, Jaclyn L. 1973- (Jaclyn LaRae Maxwell)

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Maxwell, Jaclyn L. 1973- (Jaclyn LaRae Maxwell)

PERSONAL:

Born July 12, 1973. Education: Tulane University, B.A.; Princeton University, Ph.D., 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, Ohio University, 413 Bentley Annex, Athens, OH 45701-2979 E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Ohio University, assistant professor.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Andrew J. Mellon Research Fellowship for Junior Faculty, American Council of Learned Societies, 2002-03.

WRITINGS:

Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and His Congregation in Antioch, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to A People's History of Christianity, Volume 3: Byzantine Christianity, Derek Krueger, Augsburg Fortress (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Historian Jaclyn L. Maxwell was born on July 12, 1973. She received a B.A. in history and classics from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, followed by a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, in 2000. From 2002 to 2003 she held an Andrew J. Mellon Research Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the American Council of Learned Societies. She became assistant professor in the history department at Ohio University in Athens, holding a dual appointment in the history department and the department of classics and world religions.

Maxwell's research centers on the fourth to sixth centuries C.E. and the changes taking place in societies around the Mediterranean as pagan societies began to embrace Christianity. Her book, Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and His Congregation in Antioch, examines John Chrysostom's extant sermons in context of the social, religious, and intellectual ferment of the late Roman Empire.

John Chrysostom, also called John of Antioch, was a priest and bishop's delegate before becoming the Patriarch of Constantinople. He was popular with ordinary citizens and honored for using the rhetorical lessons taught to him by Libanius, the great pagan rhetorician, to preach inspired Christian sermons. This earned him the sobriquet of Chrysostom, or "Golden Mouth." Maxwell's book uses his surviving sermons to determine how communication occurred between a congregation and church authorities in the early days of the Church. She posits that ordinary people were very much a part of the formation of orthodoxy and what became Christian morality. She suggests that dialogues between Chrysostom and his followers were frequent and important in establishing Christian mores, traditions, customs, expectations, and philosophical approaches to social intercourse and the relationship between church authorities and congregants.

Critics viewed Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity as an important contribution to research on late antiquity. David Brian Warner wrote in Review of Biblical Literature: "Maxwell's contributions will be appreciated by a range of scholars…. It is well researched, edited, and presented. Maxwell is a gifted writer who handles her sources fairly and presents her ideas clearly." Christine Shepardson's review in Church History reflected a similar appreciation for the work: "This book is a welcome addition to scholarship on late antiquity, and there is no doubt that it will have a significant impact on scholarly accounts of Christianization and the role of non-elite Christians in that process."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Church History, December, 2007, Christine Shepardson, review of Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and His Congregation in Antioch, p. 823.

ONLINE

Cambridge University Press Web site,http://www.cambridge.org/ (July 22, 2008), summary of Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity.

Ohio University, Department of History Web site,http://www.ohio.edu/history/index.cfm/ (July 22, 2008), author profile.

Ohio University Web site,http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/ (July 22, 2008), brief author profile.

Review of Biblical Literature,http://www.bookreviews.org/ (January 27, 2008), David Brian Warner, review of Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity.

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