Item description for The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700) by Jaroslav Pelikan...
Overview The second volume of Professor Pelikan's monumental work of The Christian Tradition is the most comprehensive historical treatment of Eastern Christian thought from 600 to 1700 written in recent years. This volume covers the great Christological controversies of the seventh century, the debate on icons in the 8th and 9th, attitudes to Jews, to Muslims, to the dualistic heresies of the high Middle Ages, to the post-Reformation churchs of Western Europe. The line that separated Eastoner Christendom from Western on the medieval map is similar to the "iron curtain" of recent times. Linguistic barriers, political divisions, and liturgical differences combine to isolate the two cultures from each other. Pelikan explains the divisions between Eastern and Western Christendom and identifies and describes the development of the distinctive forms taken by Christian doctrine in its Greek, Syriac and early Slavic tradition.
Publishers Description The line that separated Eastern Christendom from Western on the medieval map is similar to the "iron curtain" of recent times. Linguistic barriers, political divisions, and liturgical differences combined to isolate the two cultures from each other. Except for such episodes as the schism between East and West or the Crusades, the development of non-Western Christendom has been largely ignored by church historians. In "The Spirit of Eastern Christendom," Jaroslav Pelikan explains the divisions between Eastern and Western Christendom, and identifies and describes the development of the distinctive forms taken by Christian doctrine in its Greek, Syriac, and early Slavic expression. "It is a pleasure to salute this masterpiece of exposition. . . . The book flows like a great river, slipping easily past landscapes of the utmost diversity--the great Christological controversies of the seventh century, the debate on icons in the eighth and ninth, attitudes to Jews, to Muslims, to the dualistic heresies of the high Middle Ages, to the post-Reformation churches of Western Europe. . . . His book succeeds in being a study of the Eastern Christian religion as a whole."--Peter Brown and Sabine MacCormack, "New York Review of Books" "The second volume of Professor Pelikan's monumental work on The Christian Tradition is the most comprehensive historical treatment of Eastern Christian thought from 600 to 1700, written in recent years. . . . Pelikan's reinterpretation is a major scholarly and ecumenical event."--John Meyendorff "Displays the same mastery of ancient and modern theological literature, the same penetrating analytical clarity and balanced presentation of conflicting contentions, that made its predecessor such an intellectual treat."--"Virgina Quarterly Review "
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Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.78" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 1977
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
ISBN 0226653730 ISBN13 9780226653730
Availability 0 units.
More About Jaroslav Pelikan
Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He has received honorary degrees from universities all over the world, as well as medals and awards from many scholarly societies and institutions, including the Jefferson Award of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government on a scholar in the humanities. He is currently president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700)?
Pelikan does it again in Vol 2 Jan 11, 2007
i really don't know what to say. It's Pelikan.
Only so so Jan 19, 2005
I was urged to read this by friends of mine as well as teachers and after much hype and time I finally bought and read it along with the first in the series. It was good and I appreciated the portions on Christianity meeting with Judaism and Islam, but I have to say, the work wasn't nearly as good as I thought it would be.
In both of the books I read, he has a disclaimer in the introduction saying that this is a history of doctrine and not a history per se and that history per se, will be used very sparingly. True that is, he uses it extremely sparingly. I am a great lover of history and felt great disappointment when I saw I would go 10 or 11 pages, or even more, without seeing one date even once. He needs to set up a historical framework much more clearly before he launches into the finer points of the philosophy and theology which he fails to do.
His section on Iconoclasm (the anti-icon movement in the 7th-9th centuries) was poor. He refered to those who venerated icons as "Icon worshippers" without really realizing who incorrect that is. Iconodule is a person who venerates an icon, one who worships an icon, though, is called a idoloter. Also, that he failed to cover the argument and counter-argument for and against icons was poor. He never gets very indepth with the argument against icons that to venerate them is either Monophysitism or Nestorianism or the refutation which came from the Orthodox and finally defeated the argument concerning the hypostatic union of Christ.
My advise is to borrow the book or to get it used, don't expect even a large amount of history, but only the history of philosophical ideas, not even the dates of the people who expounded them.
A Window into The Eastern Church Aug 14, 2004
In the second volume in his great series, Jaroslav Pelikan offers a clear and readable history of the development of Eastern Christianity. Many of the primary source materials for this portion of the history of Christianity are not easily accessible to Western readers, and for that reason alone, the book is a treasure.
In addition to the glowing notes of other reviewers, I'd like to add that the bibliography of secondary sources and the index in the book are superb, making it extremely useful as a window into the entire subject.
Another Great Book From Pelikan Jun 24, 2004
Jaroslav Pelikan is one of the foremost scholars of Christian Thought and History. This book is the second volume in his monumental set, and like the other four volumes, it does not disappoint. This volume covers the often neglected "lung" of Christianity, the Eastern Church. Its neglect in the Western world is mainly because we tend to focus on Western history, to our detriment. The controversies over the interpretation of the Church Fathers, over icons, and the Trinity are given plenty of space, as is the development of the "Eastern Mindset." The political and doctrinal issues surrounding the Filioque (the "and the Son" clause of the Nicene Creed) and the "Great Schism" between East and West are also discussed, and handled very fairly. Pelikan seems to (wisely) hold both sides and the egos involved to be at fault for the schism. He looks at the events and controversies of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Ecumenical Councils too. He ends with the "Last flowering of Byzantine Theology" including the tragic almost complete loss of theological and liturgical contact between East and West.
Pelikan is fair and balanced in his appraisal of events, and concerns himself primarily with the development of doctrine, so some issues and events might seem downplayed or ignored. His style, while interesting, can also be rather academic. Many Latin and Greek words are used without translation. Many technical Church terms are used as well, which might be unfamiliar to those not versed in Church history. As such, this might not be the best beginner's introduction to the Eastern Churches.
It should be noted that Pelikan eventually joined the Orthodox Church, so the contents of this book (written in 1974) were probably part of his journey. I had the joy of hearing Pelikan speak and of attending an Orthodox service with him. He genuinely loves the Eastern Tradition, and certainly views the events in his books as more than just cold historical facts. This love of Christian history could be why his books are so well-written. However, they are still very scholarly and look at events critically, which might cause him to be dismissed as too "liberal" or "modernist". However, the Tradition of the Church is never dismissed out of hand, and Pelikan is quite traditional in his beliefs. Overall, this is a great part two in the History of the Development of Doctrine. For those who have a background in Christian history, volume two will probably teach you more new events and figures than any other of his volumes, because the East's history independent of the West has been neglected for too long.
A great book in a tremendous series Aug 6, 2002
I was introduced to Jaroslav Pelikan's "The Christian Tradition," of which this is the second volume, last March while researching a term paper for a History of Christianity class. This volume was so invaluable to me during my research that I immediately went out and bought the rest of the series as my funds would allow. Pelikan is a clear and readable writer who conveys both the context and the importance of his subject matter. THE SPIRIT OF EASTERN CHRISTIENDOM is a tremendous resource for anyone interested in the Ecumenical Council's and their affects upon Church dogma and the growing apart of the Western and Eastern Churches. The marginalia is also an indispensable resource which makes the primary sources extremely accessible to the reader. I highly recomend this book to everyone.