Jan N. Bremmer

Urban Religion, Neighbourhoods and the Early Christian Meeting Places

Jahrgang 6 () / Heft 1, S. 48-74 (27)
Publiziert 18.08.2020

In a recent study, Edward Adams has attempted to refute the standard view that early Christians met in private houses and argues instead in favour of a number of other possibilities. I show that he misinterprets various key passages, fails to differentiate between the various occasions for early Christian meetings, neglects the chronology of the development of the Christian churches, and has overlooked several important early testimonies. Instead, I stress that the traditional view is basically correct, discuss the various terms used by the early Christians for their churches, note the important role of the more well-to-do in the services, argue that we should be attentive to non-congregational meetings of Christians, and point to the modest place the early Christian meeting places must have occupied in the urban religion of the earlier Roman Empire.

Jan N. Bremmer Born 1944; 1979 PhD; 1978–90 Associate Professor for ancient history at the University of Utrecht; 1990–2009 Chair of Religious Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen; 2019–20 Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies »Beyond Canon,« Regensburg.