Pews (or Lack Thereof) in Early Orthodox Churches

December 9, 2009

Matthew Namee writes on “Yesterday, I introduced one of my ongoing research projects, a study of the origins of pews in American Orthodox churches. Oh, I’m famililar with the old story — that early Orthodox parishes bought old Protestant churches and retained the inherited pews — but whenever I hear that story, it seems to be just a bald assertion, without any evidence to back it up. Certainly, that must have happened in some cases, but is it really the primary reason? Can we prove it? And if it’s not, then why do so many of our churches have pews?”

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