Recently, Speaking of Faith ran a repeat of an interview with Jaroslav Pelikan on the need for creeds wherein Pelikan argued that ‘strong statements of belief are not antithetical, but necessary, if 21st-century pluralism is to thrive’. It can be downloaded here or listened to here.
Of course, Pelikan (1923–2006) is best known for his wonderfully-helpful 5 volume work The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. (Vols I, II, III, IV, V), but many have also benefited by drinking deeply from his many other books, including Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture, Divine Rhetoric: The Sermon on the Mount As Message and As Model in Augustine, Chrysostom, and Luther, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, Acts (in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series), Fools for Christ: Essays on the Good, the True and the Beautiful, and Bach Among the Theologians.
Pelikan was ordained by the Lutheran Church, taught at Yale from 1962 until 1996, and in 1998 was received into the Orthodox Church in America. Those wanting to read more about Pelikan’s work can visit:
- David W. Lotz, ‘The Achievement of Jaroslav Pelikan’, First Things (June/July 1992).
- Mark A. Noll, ‘The Doctrine Doctor’, Christianity Today (December 2004).
- John H. Erickson, ‘In Memory of Jaroslav Pelikan: A Homily Delivered at His Funeral Vigil Service’, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (May 16, 2006).
- Timothy George, ‘Delighted by Doctrine’, Christian History (Summer 2006).
- Robert Louis Wilken, ‘Jaroslav Pelikan: Doctor Ecclesiae’, First Things (August/September 2006).