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

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XI+275 p., 6 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58917-6
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 65,00 excl. tax
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This book is a key contribution to the historical investigation into the place of women deacons in the early Church ordered by Pope Francis in 2020.

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

2 Apostolic Constitutions as an Early Christian Source

3 Dogmatic Tendencies in the Apostolic Constitutions

4 Female Deacons in the Apostolic Constitutions
Cognates of διακονέω in Earlier Sources
Invention of διακόνισσα
Stress on γύνη
Unmarried Women
Chosen Women

5 Tasks in Liturgical Context
Blessing and Laying on of Hands
Tasks during Baptism
Function and Tasks in the Assembly
Women in the Role of Levites
Women in the Place of the Holy Spirit

6 Tasks Linked with Charity
Charity in the Apostolic Constitutions
Visiting the Homes
Charitable Serving?

7 Conclusions

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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