Must read books on women deacons

This article appears in the Women deacons feature series. View the full series.

Editor's note: Hofstra University ​professor and NCR columnist Phyllis Zagano has suggested these books as must reads for more information about women in the diaconate.

The Canonical Implications of Ordaining Women to the Permanent Diaconate. Edited by Canon Law Society of America. Published by Canon Law Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995.

Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future. Written by William T. Ditewig, Gary Macy, and Phyllis ZaganoPublished by Paulist Press, New York, 2011.

Women Officeholders in Early Christianity: Epigraphical and Literary Studies. Read Chapter 7, entitled "Deacons." Written by Ute E. Eisen. Translated by Linda M. Maloney. Published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn., 2000.

Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry. Written by Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald. Published by Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, Mass., 1998.

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The Ministry of Women in the Early Church. Written by Roger GrysonTranslated by Jean Laporte and Mary Louise Hall. Published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn., 1976

The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination: Female Clergy in the Medieval West. Written by Gary Macy. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2005.

Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History. Written by Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 2007.

Deaconesses: An Historical Study. Written by Aimé Georges Martimort. Translated by Kenneth D. Whitehead. Published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1986

Monumenta de viduis diaconissis virginibusque tractantia. Written by Josephine Mayer. Published by Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1938.

Priesthood and Diaconate: The Reception of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from the Perspective of Creation Theology and Christology. Written by Gerhard L. Müller. Published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2002.

Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church. Written by Phyllis Zagano. Published by Crossroad/Herder, New York, 2000.

Women and Catholicism: Gender, Communion, and Authority. Written by Phyllis Zagano​. Published by Palgrave-Macmillan, New York, 2011.

Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate. Written by Phyllis Zagano. Published by Paulist Press, New York, 2012.

Women Deacons? Essays with Answers. Edited* by Phyllis Zagano. Published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn., 2016.

*This blog was updated to clarify language.


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