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P. Pylvänäinen
Agents in Liturgy, Charity and Communication
The Tasks of Female Deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions

XI+275 p., 6 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58917-6
Languages: English
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What did deacons do in the early church? This study is a contribution to resolving this question through evaluating the tasks of female deacons in The Apostolic Constitutions.

What did women deacons do in the early church? This study is a contribution to resolving this topical question through evaluating the tasks of female deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions. This fourth-century document is the largest among the so-called ancient church orders. Pylvänäinen divides the tasks of female deacons into three categories: liturgical, charitable and communicative. She analyses the individual concepts and verses within their contexts, paying special attention to the context of the document as a whole within the sphere of Jewish Christian interaction and from the viewpoint of the sources the compiler has used in remoulding the document.

DTh Pauliina Pylvänäinen defended her dissertation on female deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions in the University of Eastern Finland in 2017.

Table of Contents
1 Introduction
1.a Theoretical Premises for the Study
1.a.1. Unparted Ways of Jews and Christians
1.a.2. Reinterpreted Deacons
1.a.3. Need for Synthesis
1.b Source and Aim of the Study
1.c Method of the Study
1.d Course of the Study
2 Apostolic Constitutions as an Early Christian Source
2.a Origin of the Document
2.a.1. Pseudepigraphical Authority
2.a.2. Site of the Compilation Process
2.a.3. Dating the Document
2.a.4. Identity and Number of the Compiler(s)
2.b Composition of the Compilation
2.b.1. Previous Church Orders
2.b.1.a. Didache
2.b.1.b. Apostolic Tradition
2.b.1.c. Didascalia Apostolorum
2.b.2. Other Sources
2.c Interpretational Implications
2.c.1. Literary Genre
2.c.2. Living Literature
2.d Editions and Manuscripts
2.d.1. Editions previous to Metzger’s
2.d.2. Manuscripts used by Metzger
3 Dogmatic Tendencies in the Apostolic Constitutions
3.a Arian Constructions
3.b Other Doctrinal Elements
3.b.1. Neo-Arian Formulations
3.b.2. Argumentation Against Arian and Neo-Arian Interpretations
3.b.3. Towards Manifold Readings
3.c Jewish Christian Influences
3.c.1. Anti-Jewish Verses
3.c.2. Synagogue Prayers
3.c.3. Sabbath and Sunda
3.c.4. Use of Scripture
3.c.4.a. Hermeneutical Technique
3.c.4.b. Parallelism with the Talmud
3.d Summary of Chapter 3
4 Female Deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions
4.a Multiple Terms
4.a.1. Cognates of διακονέω in Earlier Sources
4.a.2. Invention of διακόνισσα
4.a.3. Stress on γυνή
4.a.4. Interpretational Consequences
4.b Prerequisites and Position
4.b.1. Unmarried Women
4.b.2. Chosen Women
4.c Summary of Chapter 4
5 Tasks in Liturgical Context
5.a Prohibited Tasks
5.a.1. Teaching
5.a.2. Baptizing
5.a.3. Blessing and Laying on of Hands
5.a.4. Separating
5.b Tasks during Baptism
5.c Function in the Assembly
5.c.1. Frame of the Assembly
5.c.2. Tasks in the Assembly
5.c.3. In the Role of Levites
5.c.4. In the Place of the Holy Spirit
5.d Summary of Chapter 5
6 Tasks Linked with Charity
6.a Charity in the Apostolic Constitutions
6.b Visiting the Homes
6.c Charitable Serving?
6.c.1. Θεραπεύειν
6.c.2. Ἀγγέλλειν
6.c.3. Ἐκδημεῖν
6.c.4. Ὑπηρετεῖν
6.c.5. Δουλεύειν
6.c.6. Final Remarks
6.d Summary of Chapter 6
7 Conclusions
7.a Main Results
7.b Further Reflection
Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Ecclesiology (& theology of Christian life)
Liturgy, sacraments & worship
Pastoral care & theology
Christian Church : Institutional History
Early Church (pre-Constantine, to c. 312)

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