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Diaconia – A Make-Believe Which Continues?
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Diaconia – A Make-Believe Which Continues?

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
The understanding of modern working methods in the social work of churches – “diaconia” – has its... mehr
Diaconia – A Make-Believe Which Continues?
The understanding of modern working methods in the social work of churches – “diaconia” – has its roots in the examples set by the Early Church. The present study examines how well Paul Philippi was able to argue for this thesis. The findings in this article show that Philippi’s position about the character of “Diaconia” is not exactly the same as the traditional point of view. He does not point out the very basic tasks of the deacons in the field of social-caritative activity, but builds on a large scale cooperationbetween a bishop and his deacon. The way Philippi describes the parish life, the functions of members other than deacons and the common responsibility to each other among Christians were all quite well documented. The role of women had some issues, but not many. The erroneous references concentrate on the duties of a deacon. While according to Philippi, the main occupation of the deacons was social care, he is trying to make deacons caritative but cannot present adequate textual sources for this idea. As a whole, we can note that some kind of a prejudiced view seems to have led the writer when he was writing about the duties of a deacon.