Jan N. Bremmer
Urban Religion, Neighbourhoods and the Early Christian Meeting Places
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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.