"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Deaconesses in Orthodoxy

As the discussion about women in diaconal ministries (broadly defined) in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism continues, a new publication could not be more timely: Deaconesses, the Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology, eds. Niki Papageorgiou, Eleni Kasselouri-Hatzivassiliadi, and Petros Vassiliadis (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017), 585pp.

About this book we are told:
This collection of essays highlights the thorny and divisive issue of the admission of women into the sacramental diaconal priesthood of the Christian Church from the Orthodox theological perspective. The contributions here stem from scientific papers presented at an international conference titled Deaconesses, Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology, organized in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2015 by the Center of Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies (CEMES). They cover almost all the fields of biblical, liturgical, patristic, systematic, canonical, and historical theology. The volumes main focus is the ancient order of deaconesses, in connection with the overall issue of the ordination of women. Although most papers address the issues from an Orthodox perspective, their sober analysis can provide theological argumentation for the wider Christian community, both the Churches and Christian denominations that exclude women from the sacramental priesthood, and those that have already adopted their ordination.

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