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Female Deacons in the Byzantine Church1

  • Valerie A. Karras (a1)

Despite the energy devoted by American and Western European church historians and theologians to the question of the ordination of women in early Christianity and in the (western) medieval Christian Church, these scholars have shown comparatively little interest toward the female diaconate in the Byzantine Church, even when comparative analysis could potentially help elucidate questions regarding the theology and practice of women's ordinations in the West. Most of the research on the female diaconate in the Byzantine Church has occurred in Mediterranean academic circles, usually within the field of Byzantine studies, or in the Eastern Orthodox theological community; sometimes the examination of the female diaconate in the Byzantine Church has been part of a broader examination of women's liturgical ministries.

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J. G. Davies , “Deacons, Deaconesses and the Minor Orders in the Patristic Period,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 14 (1963): 115

Gary Macy , “The Ordination of Women in the Early Middle Ages,” Theological Studies 61:3 (092000): 481507;

Robert F. Taft , S.J., “Women at Church in Byzantium: Where, When— and Why?Dumbarton Oaks Papers 52 (1998): 2787

Sharon E. J. Gerstel , “Painted Sources for Female Piety in Medieval Byzantium,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 52 (1998): 9192

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
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