Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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The term diakonia came to prominence in the early 19th century with the establishment of the motherhouses of deaconesses within the German Evangelical churches. In 1851, when T. Fliedner presented a case for the role of deaconesses in the church, he used the German form Diakonie to designate the social work of the deaconesses among the disadvantaged. This German term remains today official currency for Christian social work within the Evangelical and Reformed traditions. Similar terms have the same …

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Collins, John N., “Diakonia”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 15 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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