Edward Adams challenges a strong consensus in New Testament and Early Christian studies: that the early Christians met `almost exclusively' in houses. This assumption has been foundational for research on the social formation of the early churches, the origins and early development of church architecture, and early Christian worship. Recent years have witnessed increased scholarly interest in the early `house church'.
Adams re-examines the New Testament and other literary data, as well as archaeological and comparative evidence, showing that explicit evidence for assembling in houses is not nearly as extensive as is usually thought. He also shows that there is literary and archaeological evidence for meeting in non-house settings. Adams makes the case that during the first two centuries, the alleged period of the `house church', it is plausible to imagine the early Christians gathering in a range of venues rather than almost entirely in private houses. His thesis has wide-ranging implications.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 399 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
Adams explores Christian meeting venues from the earliest period to 313 CE ... These chapters provide a wealth of information not only from early Christian literature, but also from other ancient literary, papyrological, and archaeological material that clarify the role of these venues in ancient urban and rural society ... It is essential reading for students and scholars of the social history of early Christianity. This volume is highly recommended. -- Richard Last, Queen's University * Religious Studies Review *
In this stimulating and rich monograph, Eddie Adams challenges the widespread consensus that, in the first two centuries of the movement ... Christians met almost exclusively in houses for their communal meetings. ... Scholars interested in the social and spatial contexts of early Christian meetings will consult this book with much profit. -- Paul Foster, Faculty of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK * The Expository Times *