Private Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late Antiquity by Kim BowesPrivate Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late Antiquity by Kim Bowes

Private Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late Antiquity

byKim Bowes

Hardcover | July 28, 2008

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Conventional histories of late antique Christianity tell the story of a public institution - the Christian church. In this book, Kim Bowes relates another history, that of the Christian private. Using textual and archaeological evidence, she examines the Christian rituals of home and rural estate, which took place outside the supervision of bishops and their agents. These domestic rituals and the spaces in which they were performed were rooted in age-old religious habits. They formed a major, heretofore unrecognized force in late ancient Christian practice. The religion of home and family, however, was not easily reconciled with that of the bishop's church. Domestic Christian practices presented challenges to episcopal authority and posed thorny questions about the relationship between individuals and the Christian collective. As Bowes suggests, the story of private Christianity reveals a watershed in changing conceptions of "public" and "private," one whose repercussions echo through contemporary political and religious debate.
Kim Bowes is assistant professor of classics at Cornell University. She has published on subjects ranging from Christian archaeology and domestic architecture to settlement dynamics and the late Roman economy and has excavated Roman and late Roman sites around the Mediterranean.
Title:Private Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late AntiquityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:376 pages, 9.96 × 6.97 × 1.06 inPublished:July 28, 2008Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521885930

ISBN - 13:9780521885935


Table of Contents

1. An empire of friends and family: public and private in Roman religions; 2. Two Christian capitals: private worship in Rome and Constantinople; 3. 'Christianizing' the countryside: rural estates and private cult; 4. Ideologies of the private: private cult and the construction of heresy and sanctity.

Editorial Reviews

"This book is both important and exciting. Bowes deploys a wealth of evidence, both textual and material, in order to examine the scope that was available to late antique individuals for religious activity beyond the reach of institutionalized authority structures, and discovers that this was very much greater than conventional accounts have allowed." --Early Medieval Europe