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Diakonia StudiesCritical Issues in Ministry$
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John N. Collins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367573.001.0001

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Ties that Bind: Deacons Today in the Grip of Yesteryear

Ties that Bind: Deacons Today in the Grip of Yesteryear

(p.242) 14 Ties that Bind: Deacons Today in the Grip of Yesteryear
Diakonia Studies

John N. Collins

Oxford University Press

A servant paradigm has controlled the basic understanding of the diaconate across denominational lines in modern times. This paradigm has determined much of what is expected of deacons in churches today. The paradigm’s Protestant roots mark a divergence from the ancient diaconate as represented in Orthodox tradition, while within Roman Catholic experience the modern servant model has tended to crowd out more broadly pastoral initiatives. The overriding ideology remains the nineteenth-century German concept of Diakonie as loving service. In none of its many reincarnations today has the diaconate been fully aligned with the alternative re-interpretation of diakonia (Collins 1990). The situation raises the question whether the pastoral potential of the diaconate can be realized without confronting the confusion surrounding the identity of this ministry.

Keywords:   diakonia, Diakonie, deacons, diaconate, ecumenical, pastoral

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