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Category: History

Christian diakoniya: traditions and innovations

l. E. Denisova


Work is presented by department of the theory and methodology of social work of the Russian state social university.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor S.G. Zubanova

Article is devoted to consideration of a phenomenon of social and Christian service on the example of social activity of the diakonichesky organizations and institutions. Among the most important research tasks the author of the publication allocates formation of complete idea of the common and national problems of social service in Christianity.

The paper is devoted to the consideration of Christian ministry based on the example of the social activity of the diaconal organizations and institutions. Among the most important research tasks, pointed out by the author are the formation of an integrated understanding of global and national problems of social ministry in Christianity.

The substantial increase observed in recent years from social, philosophical and historical sciences of interest in a problem of service of mercy in Christianity is explained by increase of a role of Orthodox in the decision, together with the state and society, social problems of the present.

The purpose of the research conducted by us and its task objectively predetermined need of the complex analysis for its framework of the phenomena, intrinsic characteristics and stages of evolution of a phenomenon, having received -

shy name of social and Christian or diakonichesky service.

The term "diakoniya" is for the first time used in Acts of Saint apostles in the story about a postavleniye of "seven", i.e. about election of seven most dear members is general - ny for the service to the world consisting in the disinterested order communal means and their equitable distribution between all nuzhdayushchimisya1.

Along with the verb "^asopeo", in new treasured texts in serve value also other words Greek are used

go language, for example: & lt; 1oi1eio2; 1a1geio3; 1екои^ео4; Shegareio5. However all of them are used only in connection with antiquated images and concepts.

For the name of Christian service by authors of the New Testament essentially new word which had to express also absolutely new idea of service is entered, the St. apostle Pavel calls it an assistance gift, putting in one row with gifts of teaching, a prophecy, apostleship, etc. [the I Building 12:28]. Service it fully answered unique living conditions of members of a pervoobshchi-na which basis the principles of communal brotherhood and mutual aid, community of property, communal and joint life, justice of distribution, a reward for work other were, based on Christ's precepts and spirit of Pentecost and testified in the Gospel, Acts and apostolic poslaniyakh6.

Of the "love gifts" brought by first Christians on the Eucharistic meeting the so-called treasury of love in which formation participated diakony7 - the most dear community for the dedication to Orthodox and elected her members for service to the world was formed. On behalf of apostles and bishops the deacons accepted from true gifts, guarded a treasury "day and night", from the same treasury they made assistance business: the disinterested order communal means and their equitable distribution between all persons in need.

So Saint apostles founded the first church position — a position of deacons. Began to allow women to this position soon. They were called by "diakonissam" 8.

This apostolic establishment, certainly, was very considerable for Orthodox's creation and distribution of Christianity: representing an organized form of social assistance, the diakoniya was directed, first, to care of soul

the person, secondly, on creation of such living conditions in society, both moral, and social which optimum would help execution by people of evangelical precepts.

In process of Orthodox's growth and formation of church hierarchy there is a new element of church structure - di-akonat, the service of deacons connected with execution of liturgical function in Russian it is better known as "deaconry" "/deaconry" 9. But even after emergence of this special type of service Orthodox did not forget diakonichesky service of mercy, steadily following apostolic establishment that the belief without good deeds is dead, it finds the manifestation in them [Iak. 2:17-26].

"Pastor" of St. Erma10, "Apostolic Resolutions" 11, "Canons of Saint Apostles" 12, "Apostolic tradition" svmch. Ippolita13, compositions of Polycarp of Smyrna, Tertullian Karfagensky and other early Christian authors define by the term "diakoniya": care about orphans and widows, a shelter to wanderers and travelers, bread hungry and water eager, clothes nude and visit of patients, the help to prisoners and daily alms.

However it is not necessary to limit a Christian diakoniya of the apostolic and settlement-leapostolsky periods only to the help to persons in need, already then in practical "dobrodelaniye" saw its main purpose - the certificate on Christianity as new fair society.

Thus, in the first three centuries of a new era the Christian diakoniya assumes a mass scale and becomes the first organized form of social assistance. To that the classification given by Adolf von Harnack in his classical work "Mission and Distribution of Christianity to the First Three Centuries" 14 in which such categories and types of an early Christian diakoniya as alms in - are presented

can serve as the evidence

also its connection with a church service is general; support learning and serving in communities; support (help and maintenance) of "widows" and orphans; support (help, maintenance and treatment) of patients, poor people, poor, helpless, homeless and disabled; care

about burial poor, homeless, lonely and homeless; the help by the person in need in finding of work by him, in their employment, etc.

Thanks to recognition of Christianity the government of the Roman Empire the diakoniya is represented not spontaneous philanthrophy as it was during the apostolic and postapostolic periods, but the integral quality of each Christian, the citizen's duty - social function.

Under the name of "diakoniya" at a number of churches and monasteries of the Roman Empire the hospitals and almshouses intended in the beginning for sick monks and nuns, and after and for all persons in need are established. Similar institutions opened also at episcopal houses - the most ancient of them was based in 372 g by St. Vasily in Caesarea. This complex of institutes of social care had several offices, in particular: hospital, leper colony, orphan and xenial houses, also expanded, on representations of that time, to the whole city which received name Vasiliada15.

At the initiative of the state organized social care develops, the Empire supports Orthodox's obligations in social area, the so-called symphony of the authorities is formed.

One of the most important manifestations of this approach was carefully developed system of the public charitable institutions (ad pia causa) for specific groups nuzhdayushchikhsya16. Some institutions depended on support directly of the emperor, others were sponsored by philanthropists. Scales of this activity were all - ma considerable.

And in spite of the fact that the similar organizations existed and earlier, for example alimentary institutions (alimenta), funeral boards (collegia tenuiorum) in Roman imperii17, development them should be considered only as a direct consequence of the state introduction of Christianity. Accessory of charitable institutions of Orthodox is confirmed also by the Latin terms "venerbiles domus" ("respectable houses") or "religiossima loca" ("sacred places") which were used also for the Orthodox's designation.

For the next years the activities of Christian church for implementation of an ideal of service of mercy had the features depending on confessional differences in doctrines, ceremonies, sociohistorical conditions, national traditions, etc.

With acceptance of east option of Christianity by Russia the Old Russian society together with doctrines of new belief accepts also a new way of life. Already unseparably are assigned by the Charter of St. equal to the apostles prince Vladimir of business of mercy and charity to Orthodox: almshouses, hotels, houses of a strannopriim-stvo" on which contents "tithe" from sale of bread, the cattle, court fees, etc. was defined are established "

However in spite of the fact that during the considerable period in the history of Russia Orthodox was included in all public processes: its institutes, first of all monasteries, acted as guarantors and philanthropists in relation to the disadvantaged, Christian service to the neighbor for many years remained for the Russian person, whether it be the governor or the ordinary layman, not so much means of public improvement, how many the condition of personal, moral health necessary for it for understanding of "hristolyub-ets" and "nishchelyubets" 18. whether

A in the church environment owing to certain historical circumstances throughout quite long period -

diruyushchy was an idea of "nestyazhaniye" according to which true service to God consisted in a prayer and contemplation, and the way to justice was considered through transformation as a result of so-called internal making.

Nevertheless active participation in social and charity was not alien to the Russian orthodox tradition.

Till 1917 Russian Orthodox Church various forms of social and Christian service actively developed: charitable and church and educational societies were created, at many arrivals there were boards of trustees which active figures gained deserved public recognition, on pages of church periodicals reports and charters of societies were published, other directions of church social activity were lit, for example: katekhizatorsky activity, churching of new generations, etc.

The most important historical solution of the Local council of Russian Orthodox Church of 1917-1918 was declaration as a major factor of policy of ROC return to the apostolic cathedral beginnings of church life which assumed development of an initiative both at the level of hierarchy, and among laymen, establishing branched horizontal and vertical communications in all not liturgical spheres of church service, first of all, diakonii19.

In anniversary year of work of the Local council which was fixed in national and world history first of all thanks to restoration of patriarchate it is impossible for - to happen also about this its important decision concerning restoration of the initial church device which is based on the principle of conciliarity - the universal brotherhood on spirit uniting in service to Christ, execution of its precepts of all believers, including hierarches, priests, laymen, "without what, since apo-

stolsky times, full-blooded life of the Christian community" 20 was impossible and without what the Russian Orthodox Church cannot be originally Orthodox capable to serve as a moral support to people today, to help them through affairs of mercy and love for the good by the neighbor, i.e. the dedicated and effective help to all sufferers, sick, weak, humiliated, needing to realize the active relation to "world" 21.

In this context studying the problem connected with social activity of the di-akonichesky organizations and institutions as in domestic, and world historical tradition acquires special relevance: thanks to it we gain objective knowledge of the common and national problems of social service in Christianity. And this knowledge assists innovative reconsideration and transformation and also creative use in modern conditions of earlier existing, really unique confessional forms, methods and technologies of public aid and support.

Addressing experience of foreign Orthodoxy, it should be noted that today the problem of a Christian diakoniya as historical phenomenon, its institutionalization as the first historically known form of organized social assistance is in the same Greek Orthodox Church in the center of attention of the whole scientific direction - vestries, this service including a research of christological, theological, historical, pedagogical and social aspects.

More half a century back the Hellas church opened Institute diakoniss in Attica (The central Greece, 1957). This act of the Sacred synod was approved by the Central Governing Council of "An apostolic diakoniya". The initial purpose of institute was podgotov shots of church public workers from women for the aid to parish

to priests in their vicarial activity. Since 1963 the appointment of institute changes: his graduates carry out communication between Orthodox and the public organizations of the country. In 1964 the activity of institute is officially recognized by the government of Greece. Graduates of institute work in various organizations: in the Athenian arkhiyepiskopiya, in metropolitanates, in institutions of various ministries, in hospitals, at factories and in others mestakh22.

Scientists and practicians emphasize variety of approaches and models of Christians - a sky diakoniya, several its levels are called, in particular: "makrodimentsional-ny" service (Makro5gakoU1a), "mikrodi-mentsionalny" service (M1kro5gakoU1a), therapeutic and preventive philanthrophy (Evralviik^ kag лрофиЯакик^ f1, And, au9rtata), etc. 23 Acting in razlich-

ny social and economic, political, ideological contexts, Orthodox purposefully and consistently carries out the activity designed to limit mikrodimentsionalny requirements, i.e. to save from concrete need, to alleviate concrete human suffering and also to expect the world free from troubles, the world of a celebration of love and justice and to participate resolutely in the embodiment of it predvideniya24.

The modern diakonichesky organizations and institutions are first of all communities of professionals of the highest level who, leaning on value reference points of Christianity, experience of spiritual life and service to the neighbor of the predecessors and predecessors, create in joint work with volunteers (laymen, volunteers) new technologies and the directions of social work.

1 "It is bad to us, having left the Word of God, peshchis about tables. So, brothers, choose from the circle of seven people experienced, the executed Holy Spirit and wisdom: we will place them at this service... also elected Stefan" [Dejan. 6:2,3,5].
2 — "to serve" Douleuo, from doulos — "the slave (literally or figuratively, voluntarily or on coercion), the servant". [Mat. 18:23-35], [Luk. 14:16-24], [Eph. 6:5], [Stake. 3:22], [1 Tim. 6:1], [Tit. 2:9], [2 Pat. 1:1].

"to Serve 3 to God", "to fulfill cult obligations" (See: Rome. 12:1-2, Evr. 9:1 and 6).

4 "To send the priest's duties" from leitos — "society" (leitos from laos — "people") and ergon — work, action [Lx. 1:23]; besides, "leitourgeo" means "to serve society in general, to fulfill a public duty / public ministry" [Rome. 13:4.6], [Rome.15:16 and 27], [2 Buildings 9:12].
5 "To serve, serve", it is frequent in religious or medical sense.
6 [Ying. 13:14-16], [Mk. 10:42-45], [Mf. 23:8, 12], [Dejan. 2:44-45], [Dejan. 4:32], [Dejan. 4:34-35], [Lx. 10:7], [2 Fes. 3:10].
7 Greek - SiaKovoÇ; siriysk. "шамашин" = attendant.
8 Pliny Mladshy. Letters. Prince of the X page 206.
9 Archdeacon Stefan (Bunches). The note to Russian Anastasios D. Salapatas Lane "Diakonat Of of Orthodox Orthodox". (Salapatas A. D. Diaconal ministry, past, present and future. Essays from the Philadelphia Symposium, 1992: North American Association for the Diaconate, 1994. P. 39-48). Д1аконъ.ру
10 Pastor of Germa: Precept of II, 2, Similarity of IX, 26, 2//Germa's Pastor. I.S. Sventsitskaya Lane. Writing of apostolic fathers. M.: Pristsels, 1997. 244 pages
11 "Resolutions of Saint apostles through Kliment, the Roman bishop and the citizen" (Dgakhaual x-rav áyi-rav to an ayaostkhokh-ga 5iá tcoXixou kcal xe etstkoyaoa KX&qiaevxoÇ xoú Pra^aiov)//Resolutions Apostolic (in Russian translation). Kazan, 1864.
12 Canons of Saint apostles. Chapter XXII/1/,/2/.
13 Ippolit Rimsky, Austin prelate. Apostolic tradition: XXXIV / / Theological works. 1970. No. 05. Page 283-296.
14 Harnack A. v. Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten. 2 Bde. Leipzig, Hinrichs, 1902 (4. Aufl. 1923-1924, Wiesbaden, VMA-Verlag. 1000 S.).
15 Word 43. Gravestone to Vasily, archbishop of Caesarea Cappadocian//Prelate Gregory the Theologian, archbishop Constantinople: A meeting of creations in 2 t. T. 1. - Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, 1994. Reprint reproduction of the edition: Creations the Izh in the Holy Father our Gregory the Theologian, the Archbishop Konstantinopolskago. SPb.: Publishing house of P.P. Soykin, headless.
16 G. Ulgorn. The Christ's new precept about love and Christian charity in ancient Church / Lane with it. SPb., 1900. Page 289-299.
17 In the same place. Page 15-44.
18 Not without reason in Russia said: "The beggar to the rich eats, and rich with a prayer of the beggar escapes".
19 Russian Orthodox Church in Soviet period (1917-1991): Materials and documents. M, 1995. T. 1. Page 115-120.
20 In the same place. Page 115-120.
21 Enter joy of the//Reflections of the Most Saint Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II about the person, belief and Orthodox. Book fragments. Mercy.Yai
22 "Ekklisiastiki alifiya", 16. XII. 77.
23 Papaderos A. Zur diakonischen Theorie und Praxis der Orthodoxen Kirche. In: Diakonie an der Schwelle zum neuen Jahrtausend: ökumenische Beiträge zur weltweiten und interdisziplinären Verständigung/hrsg. von Th. Strohm. Heidelberg: 2000. S. 32-51.
24 An Orthodox Approach to Diakonia, from the Consultation on Church and Service, Orthodox Academy of Crete, November 20-25, 1978. Publication of the World Council of Churches, 1980. C. 12.
Nicholas Robert John
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