The latest discussion about diakonia has been stimulated by the results of language analysis made for example by John N. Collins (1990, 2014) and Anni Hentschel (2006/2013). Although we know about the lexical meanings of the diak-family, we haven't yet used much of this knowledge on the functions of the parish's life (Gooder 2006, Collins 2012b).2
The aim of this meta-project is to collect high-level scientific re-interpretations, organize them and stimulate re-interpretations of the ancient (2nd to 7th c.) sources concerning diakonia. Doing this will trace and reveal correct interpretations and clear misinterpretations. This, in turn, helps to create possibilities for re-interpretations of diakonia, not the least in ecumenical discussions about the ministry of a deacon/deaconess. Therefore, in the context of discussing diakonia, this project is also analyzing the ministry and the functions of a deacon/deaconess and the ways in which the Christians helped each other during the first centuries. Therefore the name: Diakonia et parish Social work = DietS.
The main way to fulfill this aim is to distribute information (via internet pages, mails, meetings, etc.) and in this way to help researcher and other projects to cooperate. This can also lead to new research projects about persons/topics which are not analyzed yet. Some other ways may also emerge.
On this page, I will collect information about topics, which uses the ancient sources in a similar way or in ways which are aware of the ways which John N. Collins in his book shows. This page will not collect discussions about deacons and helping but concentrates on interpretations and analysis of interpretations of the ancient sources in their original language.
The leader of the project: Dr. Esko Ryökäs
1 The name "DietS": We need diets because we need to know, what we are eating and have eaten (about Deacons and Social work). – Click Presentations to go to the visualizations of the aims below. The project started on March 15th, 2013. About the other background of this project, click here.
- Janhonen etc.
- Diakonische Konturen. DWI 2003
- Reininger 1999
- Gooder 2006
- Collins 2009
- Koet 2009
- Latvus 2017
- Ryökäs 2014a (about RGG-dictionaries)
2.0 New testament
2.1 Apostolic Fathers
2.2 Early Fathers
- Justin Martyr
- Clement of Alexandria
- Eusebios of Caesarea
2.3 Church orders
- Apostolic Constitutions
2.4 Analyses of frequency
- Diaconia, diaconiae, diaconato (2010)
- Collins 2012a/b
- Latvus 2017
- Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity
- "Orthodoxia 51", 43–68, 2010. (about Apost. Fathers)
- Ryökäs - Voitila 2013 about the deacons as letter carrier
- Supervised doctoral student about diakonia in Apostolic Constitutions
- Forthcoming: an analysis about frequencies of deacon's activities by fathers
Deacons and Diakonia (Ed., 2018, WUNT, more here)
Conference series: www.uef.fi/deacons2020
- Athanasius of Alexandria
- Epiphanius of Salamis
- The Cappadocian Fathers
- John Chrysostom
- Saint Jerome / Hieronymus
- Augustine of Hippo
- Leo the Great
- Gregory the Great
3.3 Councils and Church Orders
- The Seven Ecumenical Councils
3.4 Analyses of frequency
3.5 The Buildings called Diaconia
- Barrett-Lennart, JECH 13, 2005, 137–164.
- Diaconia, diaconiae, diaconato (2010)
- Latvus 2017
- Agents in Liturgy, Charity and Communication (2021)
- Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity (2018)
- The Go-Between: Augustine on Deacons. (2019)
- Many articles by Kari Latvus
- Latvus Diaconia as care for the poor? (2017)
- Supervising doctoral thesis about deacons by Luther
- "Diakonian tutkimus", 2/2011, 145–163. (about Luther and diaconia)
- "Diaconia", a presentation on IDZ/IDC/CID 22.10.2015 (Rome): Ryökäs 2015b
- Why Luther did not speak about “diaconia”? in: Darkness, Light, and Active Love(2020)
5.4 Local Teachers
- Supervising Doctoral thesis about understanding of deacons during the latest 50 years in Finland
- About Fliedner: Diakonische Einblicke, DWI, 2011, 49–71.
- local analyses
- Wendland Project, look at Dietzel 2013
- "Diakonian väärinymmärryksen lyhyt historia", 2009.
- About Paul Philippi in TRE: Ryökäs 2015.
- Aikaan sidottu diakonia-käsite ("Diakonia" as a term of its time), 2019.
This project has started. Some activities have been done.
Seminar Idealismista realismiin, 22-23.9.2014 (Joensuu)
A proposal for HERA was written (spring 2015), but without effort
Symposium What Did Deacons Do?, 22-23.9.2015 (Joensuu)
Symposium What Did Deacons Do 2017?, 13-15.9.2017 (Joensuu)
Symposium What Did Deacons Do 2020?, mid-May (Joensuu)
Symposium Understandings of Diakonia, December 2021 (Joensuu)
We have recently published a book about the two first centuries (WUNT).
We are working with the second volume, too.
This project needs the cooperation of many writers, because of its volume. Now it is essential to collect information about "status quo": what do we know now. This means: what do we know after the introduction of the new paradigm by John N. Collins. This phase may take some years. After that, we can start to analyze deeper that material, which has not been investigated yet.
To start, we need:
It seems that many books and articles of 19 th and 20 th century want to see its specific (charitative) way of Deacon's service as the only possible (Collins, Dietzel, Ryökäs 2011 [about Fliedner], Latvus 2017).
It seems to be easy to give a charitative understanding to deacon's ministry, even on the highest level of scientific presentation of the 1980s, against sources (Ryökäs 2015).
The deacons work as a humble service seems to be an invention of the 1930s, not earlier (Ryökäs 2014a).
In 4 th Century and Egypt had the deacons almost nothing to do with the sick persons (Barrett-Lennart)
Top Aims Structure Topics Results Bibliography Presentations Add Comment
Barrett-Lennart, Ric (2005): The Canons of Hippolytus and Christian Concern with Illness, Health, and Healing. – Journal of Early Christian Studies, Volume 13, 137–164.
Collins, John N.
– (2001): Gunnel Borgegard, Olav Fanuelsen, Christine Hall (ed.), The Ministry of the Deacon, 2. Ecclesiological Explorations [Book review]. – International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. Volume 1, Issue 1 (2001), pp. 103 - 106.
– (2009): A German Catholic view of Diaconate and Diakonia. [Book review.] New Diaconal Review, (IDC-NEC) vol. 1 (2009) nr. 2 pp. 41–46. – http://www.idc-nec.org/NDRV1Issue02.pdf.
– (2012a): A Monocultural Usage: διακον- words in Classical, Hellenistic, and Patristic Sources. – Vigiliae Christianae 66 (2012), 287–309.
– (2012b): Theology of Ministry in the Twentieth Century: Ongoing Problems or New Orientations?’ – Ecclesiology 8.1, 11–32.
– (2014): Diakonia Studies. Critical Issues in Ministry. Oxford University Press.
Diaconia, diaconiae, diaconato (2010). Semantica e storia nei padri della chiesa. Studia Ephemeridis Augustinianum 117. Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum. Roma. .
Diaconia in Christo. Über die Erneuerung des Diakonates. Hrsg.v. Karl Rahner u. Herbert Vorgrimler. Quaestiones Disputatae 15/16. Herder, 1962.
Dietzel, Stefan (2003): Zur Entstehung des Diakonats im Urchristentum. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Positionen von Wilhelm Brandt, Hermann Wolfgang Beyer und John N. Collins. – Diakonische Konturen, DWI, 2003, 136–170.
– (2013): Wendland Project: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/354866.html
Gooder, Paula (2006): Diakonia in the New Testament: A Dialogue with John N. Collins. – Ecclesiology 3.1, 33–56.
Hentschel, Anni (2006): Diakonia im Neuen Testament. Studien zur Semantik unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Rolle von Frauen. Mohr Siebeck.
– (2008): Gibt es einen sozial-karitativ ausgerichteten Diakonat in den frühchristlichen Gemeinden? – PTh 97, 290–306.
– (2011): Diakon/Diakonin, WiBiLex, http://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/startseite/.
– (2013): Gemeinde, Ämter, Dienste. Perspektiven zur neutestamentlichen Ekklesiologie. Neukirchener Theologie, Biblisch Theologische Studien, 136.
Janhonen, Hanne (2006): ”JA HÄN LÄHETTI PALVELIJOITAAN”. Sanan διάκονος merkitys UT:ssa ja muissa antiikin teksteissä. [The meaning of διάκονος in the NT and other ancient texts. Masters thesis] – Joepub.
Koet, Bart J. (2009): International conference on the sources of the diaconate. How it came about and how it turned out. A first report ... - New Diaconal Review, (IDC-NEC) vol. 2 (2009) nr. 3 pp. 29–32. – http://www.idc-nec.org/NDRV1Issue03.pdf.
– (2019) The Go-Between: Augustine on Deacons. Brill.
Latvus, Kari (2010): Diaconal Ministry in the Light of the Reception and Re-Interpretation of Acts 6. – Diaconia, vol. 1, pp. 82–102, ISSN 1869-3261.
– (2017): Diaconia as care for the poor?
Madigan, Kevin – Osiek, Carolyn (2005): Ordained Women in the Early Church. A Documentary History. Edited and translated by Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore & London.
Pylvänäinen, Pauliina (2020): Agents in Liturgy, Charity and Communication, The Tasks of Female Deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions, Studia Traditionis Theologiae, 37, Turnhout 2020.
Reininger, Dorothea (1999): Diakonat der Frau in der Einen Kirche. Schwabenverlag.
Ryökäs, Esko (2009): "Diakonian väärinymmärryksen lyhyt historia" [A short history of misunderstanding of diakonia]. Anno Domini, 162–181.
– (2011): Zur Begründung der Diakonie bei Theodor Fliedner. Anmerkungen zum “Gutachten, die Diakonie und den Diakonat betreffend.” – Diakonische Einblicke. DWI-Jahrbuch, 49–71.
– (2012): Book review: Diaconia, diaconiae, diaconato (2010). – Diaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice 3 1: 95–96.
– (2014a): Arbeiter oder Diener – über die Diakonie-Auffassungen des 20. Jahrhunderts. – Diakoniewissenschaft in Forschung und Lehre. DWI.Jahrbuch, 107–124.
– (2015): Diaconia – A Make-Believe Which Continues?. – Diaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice, vol. 6, pp. 61–74.
– (2015b): "Diaconia" - a presentation on IDZ/IDC/CID 22.10.2015 (Rome): a version in YouTube..
– (2017): Diakonit ja saarna. Diakonian tutkimus 1: 36-53..
– (2019): Aikaan sidottu diakonia-käsite. Tiedekriittinen yritys ymmärtää suomalaista diakoniakeskustelua. STKSJ 289. Helsinki.
– (2020): Why Luther did not speak about “diaconia”? in: Darkness, Light, and Active Love, Studies on Theory and Practice in Luther and Lutheran Orthodox Ecumenical Theology, Ed. Antti Raunio, Schriften der Luther-Agricola-Gesellschaft 74, Helsinki 2020, 165–193.
Ryökäs, Esko - Voitila, Anssi (2013): "Varhaiset diakonit kirjeiden kuljettajina" [Early Deacons as Letter Carrier]. - Diakonian tutkimus 2 / 2013, 133–149.
Theology and Ministry 2 (2013), with many articles.
Click here to go to the page with material in English
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