In the fourth century, said Bowes, the concept of “church” was not yet defined—many people still worshipped in private home chapels or in estate churches which served both their owners and local peasantry. “There was no consensus on what the church was,” said Bowes. Once the Christian church became established, the bishops, who often called such worship heresy, condemned private gatherings. “You’ll find some really angry texts [written by bishops] from this period,” said Bowes.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Homebrewed Masses in the 4th century
Fordham University's Kimberly Bowes will explore the division between public and private expressions of Late Antique Christianity in her upcoming book, Possessing the Holy: Private Worship in Late Antiquity. From the article: