The Music of the First Christians
Gresham College Lectures
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Gresham College Lectures
The Music of the First Christians
Oct 06, 2016
Gresham College
Professor Christopher Page looks at the early Christians singing and illustrates it with performances by the world-renowned tenor Christopher Watson
Early in the second century a Roman governor interrogated a group of Christians to satisfy himself that they had not offended against his recent edict banning clubs that might acquire a political slant. The Christians told him that they said that they convened before dawn on Sundays, when they were accustomed to sing a hymn of praise, and that they met subsequently to share a common meal. Perhaps to confute the rumour that they and their co-religionists indulged in cannibalism, the prisoners insisted that they ate perfectly innocent food when they gathered. Like many others in the first and second centuries, the governor thought the Christians very strange. So they were in many respects, but they were not so strange that they repudiated the use of ritual song. We begin our survey with the music of the first Christian communities.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
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