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Theology of Ministry in the Twentieth Century: Ongoing Problems or New Orientations

Collins, John N. (2012) Theology of Ministry in the Twentieth Century: Ongoing Problems or New Orientations. Ecclesiology, 8 (1). pp. 11-32. ISSN 1744-1366

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The first World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910 unwittingly provided strong impetus to unprecedented endeavours to establish an ecumenically agreed theology of ministry. Between the first Faith and Order Conference in 1927 and the Fourth in 1963 an ecclesiological revolution occurred. Its distinguishing achievement was to locate the gift of ministry not in ordination or its equivalent but in baptism. This principle was established on the basis of the New Testament term for ministry, diakonia, understood as a total giving of self in service to others. Consensus to this effect developed around the work of Karl Barth, Eduard Schweizer and Ernst Käsemann, but in ecumenical circles strong tensions developed about the implications for ordained ministry. The linguistic study of 1990 Diakonia: Re-interpreting the Ancient Sources challenged the semantics underlying the consensus and provided a new semantic profile for an understanding of ecclesial ministry. The re-interpretation has been endorsed by subsequent lexicography and by Anni Hentschel's semantic investigation (2007). Theology of ministry in the twenty-first century has the opportunity to enrich the ministry with which the church is provisioned.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Edinburgh Missionary Conference 1910, ministry, ecumenism, diakonia
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: Ministry Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 04:59
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 03:54
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2628

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