Theme of the Congress

Early Christianity between Liturgical Practice and Everyday Life
Рано хришћанство између литургијске праксе и свакодневног живота
Conference welcome reception for participants and invited guests will be held at the National Museum of Serbia and the City Hall of Belgrade


Early Christianity between Liturgical Practice and Everyday Life
Il primo Cristianesimo tra la pratica liturgica e la vita quotidiana


The theme Early Christianity between Liturgical Practice and Everyday Life encompasses all aspects of early Christian life in eastern and western provinces of the Roman Empire, until the seventh century A. D. Various questions related to the Church, liturgy, sacral architecture, production of the objects of religious piety open new perspectives in the research of early Christianity. Comprising different aspects, the general theme of the Congress includes various topics. Among the most important are those related to Christianity in a spatial (geographic) context – Christianisation in cities and military centres on the Limes, in borderlands and rural areas. Such contributions should deepen our knowledge on how the Christians had organised themselves in those areas, sometimes confronting with hostile paganism; furthermore, we should study the importance of local and regional economies and their influence in church building activities, and spiritual contributions of Church members and believers to the greater communities.

The questions of the relationship between the pagans and Christians, the changing landscape (temples converted to churches), Christian euergetism, and those about asceticism and pilgrimage are all significant and should be tackled and compared with the so-far known historical and  archaeological sources. The issues of persecutors and martyrs, saints, the ascetic practice, monastic sites, and Christian migrations and dislocations (whether voluntary or forced) are also important in defining the beginning and development of early Christianity in particular areas. In this context, historical sources, epigraphic finds and architectural and archaeological remains are essential, providing a profound insight into early Christian communities and their changing local dynamics. Finally, burial customs and patterns at local and global levels, funeral rituals, the commemoration, and the role of the Christian community and the Church in these practices are important aspects of the early Christianity, as well. Combined with anthropological methods and multidisciplinary approach, they open up new perspectives for our knowledge of the early Christians and their religious views.

In this context, the issues of everyday life should be studied in relation to Christian practices. To this end we seek contributions addressing the contact between the two spheres – religious and profane. For example, there are profane elements in liturgy, while architectural and craft activities could be studied in both aspects. Furthermore, there is the perennial question of interpretatio Christiana, and many other facettes of the two deeply intervowen social contexts.

The theme of the Congress will be explored in different aspects: through liturgy, church history and sources, private piety, urbanism and Christian topography, architecture, epigraphy, prosopography, sculpture, wall painting, mosaics, minor arts and funeral practice. The Congress theme is broad enough to encourage investigation of all mentioned topics in different geographical areas, such as Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, Roman and Byzantine Palestine, Persia, Armenia, Georgia, Roman North Africa, Greece, the Balkans, Italia, Iberian peninsula, Gallia, Germania, the British Isles and Crimea. The theme also invites one to research various aspects of early Christianity through different methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches, but also to discuss the perils of Christian heritage and offer solutions for its protection and promotion. With this Congress we aim to contribute with new results and interpretations to a better understanding of early Christianity and the early Christians.



Early Christianity between Liturgical Practice and Everyday Life


Church history and sources

Liturgical practice

Epigraphy and prosopography

Urbanism and topography


Sculpture, painting and mosaic

Minor arts and numismatics

Funeral practice

Everyday life





The peril of Christian heritage