Friday, July 21, 2006

In Memoriam: Jaroslav Pelikan

I've just learned that Jaroslav Pelikan died. The news comes to me a little late (he passed in late May). I'm still a bit sad, though. Though I have not read much of Pelikan, his books command my respect for their erudition and respect for the Christian tradition in all of its diversity. This quote from First Things sums up his status in my mind:

“In the last generation, it has become fashionable among historians of Christian thought. . . to suggest . . . that orthodox Christianity made its way not by argument but by power and coercion. The real heroes in Christian history are the dissidents, the heretics, whose insights were suppressed. . . . Pelikan never succumbed to this temptation.”



famulus_veritatis said...

Pelikan started out as a Lutheran and was a professor at Valparaiso University in the late 1940s, I believe. He wrote his classic history of doctrine as a Lutheran, and his books on Bach and "Faust as theologian" stem from those Germano-Protestant interests.

But Pelikan converted to Eastern Orthodoxy at some point in the 1990s, I think. That's fascinating. One doesn't meet too many converts to Orthodoxy.

Regina Lucia said...

Mr. Hanson- today I was flying back from Nebraska (we got a connecting flight in the Denver airport, where the story took place...) and as I was waiting for them to call us up to board, they called for a "Mr. James Hanson". Curious eh?