Diakonia has been a key word for over forty years in talk about church and ministry and about the church in relation to the world. The word is used today to denote ministry as service to one's fellow beings, and figures prominently in theological writings and church declarations. It underlies the frequent claims that the ordained ministry has become elitist and exclusive. In this groundbreaking study, Collins shows that the current uses of the word arose from erroneous dictionary meanings propagated since the 1930s. He surveys one thousand years of ancient Greek literature, inscriptions, and papyri to provide new insight into what early Christians meant when they wrote about diakonia. Collins carefully rewrites the lexicon from ancient sources for the purpose of reinterpreting the earliest Christian sources on ministry. The results will challenge theologians and ecumenists to rethink the idea of ministry, to restructure attempts at renewal of the diaconate, and to redraw the profile of "the servant church."
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John N. Collins is retired Professor of Biblical Studies at Loreto Mandeville Hall in Melbourne.Review:
"Now John N. Collins has challenged the nineteenth and early twentieth century definitions and has supplied us with a whole gamet of rich associations."--Distinctive Diacarate
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110195060679