The Diaconate in Ecumenical Perspective
Author D. Michael Jackson (ed.)
Publisher Sacristy £19.99
This volume resulted from a 2011 ecumenical conference on the diaconate at the University of Regina, Canada, and includes chapters on the theology of the diaconate, the transitional diaconate, women deacons, ecumenical perspectives on the diaconate, the prophetic and liturgical roles of deacons and diaconal formation. The book’s broad ecumenical range makes it unusual, with contributions from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist traditions; in addition, authors address the diaconate in the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches. The 19 chapters are succinct, but make a compelling case for ecumenical engagement on a ministry shared between the Churches but often interpreted in very different ways. Nevertheless, a common thread running through many chapters is the importance of John Collins’ theology of diakonia as more than just service. The chapter on the survival of women deacons in the eastern Churches, in particular, illuminates an often overlooked and forgotten history. A weakness of the book, which will undoubtedly diminish its academic impact, is the regrettable absence of detailed references for most chapters, a bibliography and an analytical index.