06 May Imagining House Churches in Light of Evidence for Cultic Activities in the Terrace Houses in Ephesus
James Walters (Theology, Boston University)
Monday, May 6 / 4:30 PM
In addition to evidence for household cults in the terrace houses at Ephesus, three of the units contained installations for cultic activities that “blur” the traditional distinction between public and private space. The likely identification of Terrace House 2 as that of C. Vibius Salutaris offers additional commentary on important aspects of such “blurring” through details preserved in the 568 line inscription recording the terms of his bequest. Although it is extremely unlikely that any early Christians would have lived in houses as “rich” as the terrace houses excavated at Ephesus, they provide important comparative materials for imagining how religious activities within domestic space could welcome persons from outside the household while enhancing the status of the owner.
Walters’ interests focus on Pauline studies and especially on the urban social context of Pauline communities in the Aegean basin (Greece and western Asia Minor). He is the author of one book, Ethnic Issues in Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and a number of scholarly essays.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.