Christianity started not as a public cult, but in the context of families and houses. Whereas most scholarly attention focused on early communities and the development of the official cult, the domestic and familial realm as the place of everyday religiosity has been mostly neglected. This project illuminates this essential part of ancient Christian life by studying the specific characteristics of domestic and familial Christianity in the context of domestic religion from Greco-Roman time to late antiquity, and by analyzing, with supplementing methods, literary and archaeological sources. This research adds a whole new dimension to our understanding of ancient Christianity. The outcomes will be highly relevant not only for specific fields of New Testament studies and Christian archaeology, but also for Church history, history of liturgy, and social history of the Early to the Late Roman Empire.

The project consists of two parts: One part will mainly examine the literal sources from the 1st and 2nd century (Project Part A) and the second will investigate the relicts and archaeological remains beginning with the 3rd century (Project Part B).