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11.11.2013 Esko Ryökäs The original form of Parish Social Work DietS - a project about the deacons and helping.

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Presentation on theme: "11.11.2013 Esko Ryökäs The original form of Parish Social Work DietS - a project about the deacons and helping."— Presentation transcript:

1 Esko Ryökäs The original form of Parish Social Work DietS - a project about the deacons and helping

2 Earlier, since the 19th century and in the protestant theology, the office of deacon was seen as almost identical to the social helping function of a parish DS The deacons were known to perform other functions as well, but the primary function was to be a helper Other people were known to have helping functions too, but primary helper was the deacon Functions of a Deacon(Social) Helping The original form of Parish Social Work This model of thinking had a fundamental error

3 Simplified: the reason for the problem was, that the question was wrong It was easy to ask: Did a deacon perform helping functions in the early church? The answer was YES; the ancient texts indicate, he was a helper What was overlooked, was DS The focus was simultaneously put on the activities of a deacon and on (social) helping DS The original form of Parish Social Work The functions of a deacon as a whole Or the social helping as a whole Functions of a Deacon(Social) Helping

4 The New Testament research after John N. Collins has changed the interpretation The new way of thinking has revealed two facts about the life of the early church: - a deacon had many other activities besides helping DS Functions of a Deacon(Social) Helping The original form of Parish Social Work Yet a deacon did do helping work, and one of the performers of social helping was the deacon - and (social) helping was a function for many others, too

5 Hence, we have two new questions: (Social) HelpingFunctions of a Deacon(Social) HelpingFunctions of a Deacon ? D (Social) Helping ? S What did a deacon actually do? Who was active in (social) helping? The original form of Parish Social Work Yet a deacon did do helping work, and one of the performers of social helping was the deacon

6 This two questions can be looked in relation to two periods For simplicity reasons I will not look at Era I, but concentrate on Era II DS Era I The first century (the New Testament era) Era II The following centuries (Social) Helping ?Functions of a Deacon ? The original form of Parish Social Work

7 This two questions can be looked at on two different ways DS When looking at the activities of a deacon, it is often useful to consider : The noun diakonos The noun diakonia The verb diakonein When looking at (social) helping, it is often useful to follow the classifications of Mt 25: 35-36: - food - accommodation - clothing - sickness - prisoners Era I The first century (the New Testament era) Era II The following centuries (Social) Helping ?Functions of a Deacon ? The original form of Parish Social Work

8 The research of the first centuries of the church has three sides a What kind of answers do the ancient sources give to our two questions – Perhaps sources from the 2nd through 7th centuries, individually or as a group b How did the Reformers from the 16th /17th century reformation period interpret the source texts – This gives denominations a possibility for reflection and critical self analysis c How did the 19th and 20th c. literature about deacons interpret the source texts – This gives possibilities for a new (ecumenical) beginning DS a 2nd to 7th century b16th to 17th century c19th to 20th century Era I The first century (the New Testament era) Era II The following centuries Functions of a Deacon ?(Social) Helping ? The original form of Parish Social Work

9 Therefore, we need a project with three phases, regarding a/b/c: 1 What do we already know / not yet know about a/b/c (status quo) – Meetings/congress/congresses, publications 2 The most important gaps of the a/b/c reseach are to be filled – Research work 3 The results of the research are to be collected and presented – Congresses, publications DS Era I The first century (the New Testament era) Era II The following centuries Functions of a Deacon ?(Social) Helping ? a 2nd to 7th century b16th to 17th century c19th to 20th century The original form of Parish Social Work

10 In addition to New Testament research, a three phase research project is needed: 1 What do we know (Status quo) The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 2 Research The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 3 Collecting and presenting the results The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century When looking at the deacon, it is often useful to consider: - the noun diakonos - the noun diakonia - the verb diakonein When looking at (social) helping, some of the following may be considered - hungry - stranger - naked - sick - in prison The original form of Parish Social Work

11 In addition to New Testament research, a three phase research project is needed: 1 What do we know (Status quo) The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 2 Research The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 3 Collecting and presenting the results The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century The original form of Parish Social Work An example of research which concentrates on a single form of helping, in one context, on a certain time period Just one document The Canon of Hippolyte Just one form of helping Sickness and healing Limited to a certain time period and geographical region 4th century, Egypt 29 pages We need hundreds of articles like this

12 The original form of Parish Social Work Thanks for watching

13 In addition to New Testament research, a three phase research project is needed: 1 What do we know (Status quo) The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 2 Research The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century 3 Collecting and presenting the results The functions of a Deacon? (Social) Helpers? - according to the source texts - according to the source texts - according to the reformators - according to the reformators - in the 19th and 20th century - in the 19th and 20th century The original form of Parish Social Work When looking at the deacon, it is often useful to consider: - thenoun diakonos - the noun diakonia - the verb diakonein When looking at (social) helping, some of the following may be considered - hungry - stranger - naked - sick - in prison


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