Volume 50, Issue 1, June 2010
The Morality of Disgust in Jerome and John Chrysostom
Jerome and John Chrysostom explored the disgust and revulsion that people often feel when confronted with the suffering of another human being. They
attempted morally to reform their listeners by showing them that they were just as vulnerable as those whom they disparaged, and by breaking down false barriers between the self and other. Jerome presented graphic details of one woman’s ministry to the sick and poor, while Chrysostom criticized the aloof
spectator who encouraged the sick and poor to perform. Disgust was thereby re-conceived as an inappropriate response to human suffering.