What did deacons do?

It’s been a busy week in the small world of the ancient church orders. Last night saw a virtual launch party for Pauliina Pylvänäinen’s book on Apostolic constitutions (which I couldn’t get into!), but also a series of online seminars as part of the ongoing project on diakonia shared between the University of Eastern Finland and the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology. Two were directly related to the church order literature, and the other certainly connected:

The papers given are now available online. They are:

Why Ask what Deacons Did? Dr. Arnold Smeets, TST
The Liminal Nature of the Diaconal Role in the Didascalia Apostolorum. Phoebe Kearns, University of Winchester

Deacons in the Testament of Our Lord. The State of the Question and Avenues for Future Research. Dr. Grant White, Sankt Ignatios College, Stockholm School of Theology
Deacons in the Writings of Gregory Nazianzen. Dr. Brian J. Matz, Fontbonne University (U.S.A.)

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Filed under Didascalia Apostolorum, Testamentum Domini

2 responses to “What did deacons do?

  1. Randy Burgess

    I enjoyed the presentations on deacons. Has anyone recently had a conference on Presbyters and Bishops?
    Have you done any further research on the topics in The Original Bishops?


  2. I don’t know about bishops (!) but Bart Koet, who organized the deacons seminars, tells me that there is an online series of seminars coming up on presbyters, in September he says, though he hasn’t shared any details yet.
    My most recent thinking on church order is in the paper referenced and linked in my post below on office and appointment to office:
    https://ancientchurchorders.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/office-and-appointment-to-office-in-early-christian-communities/ I have also written a paper for the deacons volume on deacons in 4C church orders, but that is under the seal at present.


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