of the Church's first Millennium

New and Expanded Edition
Canterbury Press December 2011.

* Canterbury Press Ltd
St Mary's Works
St Mary's Plain
Norwich NR33BH,
UK tel: +44 (0)1603 612914
Fax: +44 (0)1603 624483

* Amazon UK

Part One. The Argument
Part Two. The Texts (50 - 1000 AD)
Part Three. The Search Goes On.

From the cover of the book:

• "Wijngaards combines accurate historical inquiry, text analysis and interpretation of fact with a highly sophisticated theological competence and - last not least - an acute common sense. The text reads like a thriller. Rare indeed are theological books like this, which blend scientific research and common plausibility, personal insight and church-political relevance."

Prof. Dr. Peter Hünermann, University of Tübingen, Germany. Former president Catholic Theological Association of Europe.

• "Debate continues about the nature and function of ordained ministry in the Catholic Church. This study clarifies some of the basics with regard to the first-millennium diaconate, in which both women and men had an equivalent part. If there is to be an ordained ministry, women ought to be included. John Wijngaards’ study can be a jumping off point for reconnecting ministry in its entirety."

Dr. Mary Hunt, Maryland, USA. Co-director, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual.

• "This is an exceptionally engaging and readible book, written with great empathy for the historical background. Wijngaards has also rendered a great service by translating the original sources and presenting them in an easily accessible format. A valuable contribution to the academic and church-political discussions."

Prof. Dr. Peter Hofrichter, University of Salzburg, Austria. President of the Institute of Church History and Patrology.

• "This is an important and captivating study. Wijngaards guides the reader step by step on an exciting trail of historical research. The evidence he presents from the historical sources result in an unmistakable and incontrovertible conclusion: women ministered in the early Church as sacramentally ordained deacons. He has enriched his book by a precious - and colourful - documentation of ancient texts, which otherwise lie outside easy access for many. The book is lively in presentation, detailed in academic underpinnning and, theologically, extremely relevant to the question of ministry today."

Prof. Dr. René van Eyden, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Chair of Theology and Feminist Research.

• “John Wijngaards’ contributions to the subject of women’s ordination have been exceptionably valuable, not only because of the solidly Catholic nature of his theology, but also because of his objective and exhaustive exploration of the theme. He believes in hiding nothing and in enabling the reader to make up her or his own mind. His classic work, The Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church: Unmasking a Cuckoo’s Egg Tradition (DLT), is the best book I know of to date on the subject – clear-headed, well-informed, fair, logical, and thoroughly Catholic. His new book exhibits the same method of comprehensive openness, as well as being extremely readable.”

Margaret Hebblethwaite BA MA, author of many theological and spiritual books; former associate editor of The Tablet


Reviews in full

John Wijngaards’ publication list.

How to Order

In the United Kingdom
Canterbury Press Ltd
St Mary's Works
St Mary's Plain
Norwich NR33BH,
UK tel: +44 (0)1603 612914
Fax: +44 (0)1603 624483

Amazon UK

* Amazon!!!

* Morehouse Publishing,
PO Box 1321,
Harrisburg, PA 17105,
Tel: (001) 717 5418130
Fax: (001) 717 541 8128

° Canada
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Second Floor,
Canada M5E 1B3

° Australia
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North Parramatta,
NSW 2151,
Tel: (02) 98901388
Fax: (02) 98901915

° New Zealand
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Auckland 1005,
Tel: (649) 5251380
Fax: (649) 525 1664

° Africa d SE Asia
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London N22 8DJ.
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West Indies
Hugh Dunphy,
PO Box 413,
Kingston 10,
W Indies
Tel: (001) 809 926 4645
Fax: (001) 809 9681874.

Please, let us know of any problems with distributors.

Video Presentations

Ordained women deacons

Tens of thousands of ordained women deacons served in parishes during the first millennium of the Church.

Ministries in the West

Women exercised a variety of ministries in North Africa and in different regions of Western Europe.

The Tasks of Women Deacons

Women deacons fulfilled pastoral functions at baptism, communion and anointing of the sick.