Journal for Christian reflections in the context of social sciences and humanities

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Churchly or Worldly Diakonia?
Šimr Karel
The paper attempts to reflect on the subject of ‘worldliness’ and ‘churchliness’ of diakonia from a theological standpoint based on the example of the development of the Diaconia of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. It first lays out two different attitudes present at the inception of this institution in 1989. The two attitudes are subsequently placed in the context of the theological discussion of diakonia in the German Protestant environment since the second half of the twentieth century. Engaging N. Luhmann’s Social Systems Theory, which conceives diakonia as a function of the religious system in relation to other subsystems of society, the paper seeks to transcend the dichotomy between the two characteristics as phenomena inherent to Christianity itself and enquires about the possibilities of drawing the church and diakonia closer together.

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