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Deacons and the Church [Paperback]

By Owen F. Cummings (Author)
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Overview
Deacons and the Church is a comprehensive overview of the permanent diaconate that provides a unique combination of theological reflection, historical analysis, and pastoral problems and issues. Written by a permanent deacon, it sets as point of departure the restoration of the diaconate at Vatican II. From there, it follows the history of the diaconate from Jesus onward, pausing to consider those who serve as stellar examples of deacons for deacons: Lawrence of Rome, Ephrem of Nisibis, Francis of Assisi, and Nicholas Ferrer of Little Gidding. He discusses the deacon and liturgy, reflects on the spirituality of the deacon, the dysfunctional deacon, and the interface between the sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony.With its one-of-a-kind combination of theological, historical, and pastoral emphasis, enhanced by the personal experience of the author, this book is a must-have for deacons and anyone interested in the diaconate.

Publishers Description
"Deacons and the Church is a comprehensive overview of the permanent diaconate that provides a unique combination of theological reflection, historical analysis, and pastoral problems and issues. Written by a permanent deacon, it sets as point of departure the restoration of the diaconate at Vatican II. From there, it follows the history of the diaconate from Jesus onward, pausing to consider to those who serve as stellar examples of deacons for deacons: Lawrence of Rome, Ephrem of Nisibis, Francis of Assisi, and Nicholas Ferrer of Little Gidding. He discusses the deacon and liturgy, reflects on the spirituality of the deacon, the dysfunctional deacon, and the interface between the sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony. With its one-of-a-kind combination of theological, historical, and pastoral emphasis, enhanced by the personal experience of the author, this book is a must-have for deacons and anyone interested in the diaconate.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2004
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809142422  
ISBN13  9780809142422  


Availability  0 units.


More About Owen F. Cummings


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Owen F. Cummings is Regents' Professor of Theology at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Oregon, and a permanent deacon of the Catholic Church. He was educated at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Glasgow. The author of fifteen books and many articles in professional and popular journals, he has a special interest in contemporary systematic/liturgical theology.

Owen F. Cummings currently resides in St Benedict, in the state of Oregon.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic



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Reviews - What do customers think about Deacons and the Church?

Diakonia leads to koinonia  Mar 27, 2004
The ministry of the permanent diaconate, at least in the Latin West, has been nearly forgotten for almost a thousand years. It's only during the last couple of generations that the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have remembered and attempted to revitalize it. The problem is that our millennium-long amnesia has left us with a lot of questions about the nature of diaconal ministry. Just what is a deacon? How does the ministry of a deacon differ from baptismal ministry? What's the role of the deacon in today's church? What's the proper relation between deacons and other ordained clergy?

These and many other questions beg to be examined in a systematic and reflective manner, and a necessary condition for doing so is to begin to look at the theology and spirituality of deaconal service. Alas, this hasn't been done too often up to now. Analyses of the diaconate have tended to focus (to use Cummings' distinction) on either the "power" of the diaconate (its function) or the "history" of the diaconate. As a consequence, the Holy Order of deacons still leaves many people in the church confused: many bishops don't know what to do with deacons, priests sometimes see them as nuisances, and parishoners tend to think of them as assistant priests.

Owen Cummings' book is the first to begin to think about the permanent diaconate from a theological perspective. Although written from the vantage point of the Roman Catholic tradition, it is invaluable for other Christian traditions (such as my own, Anglicanism) that ordains deacons. Cummings examines the history of the diaconate and its renewal in the twentieth century. This is pretty standard stuff. Much more importantly, however, is his attempt to sketch out a kenotic spirituality of the diaconate by the wonderful device of interpreting Jesus as a deacon. Also extremely good is his discussion of the "dysfunctional" deacon: the pitfalls (for example, clericalism, ritualism, anti-intellectualism) that deacons can fall into.

All in all, an excellent effort. There's still much prayer and work to be done in reawakening to the full meaning and promise of the permanent diaconate, but Cummings has gotten us off to a good start. Heartily recommended.

 

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