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The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600) [Paperback]

By Jaroslav Pelikan (Author)
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Item description for The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600) by Jaroslav Pelikan...

Explores the iconography, dogma, and liturgy of Greek, Slavic, and Syriac forms of Christianity.

Publishers Description
In this five-volume opus--now available in its entirety in paperback--Pelikan traces the development of Christian doctrine from the first century to the twentieth.
"Pelikan's "The Christian Tradition" is] a series for which they must have coined words like 'magisterial'."--Martin Marty, "Commonweal"

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Pages   442
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 15, 1975
Publisher   University Of Chicago Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0226653714  
ISBN13  9780226653716  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jaroslav Pelikan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)?

Standard Reference  Jan 14, 2008
Pelikan's 5 volume series on Christian Tradition has become a fairly standard reference work that is accessible to newer students as well as those more familiar with Christianity.
Inventive, thorough and concise scholarship  Oct 17, 2007
Pelikan has written a very useful, accessible and noteworthy history of the beginnings of Chirstianity covering the major issues in a creative and lucid manner. Certainly, a book worthy of the library.
Every Christian needs to read this book  Aug 31, 2007
If you profess to be a Christian you need to read this book and understand how what you have accepted on faith. The Good News from Jesus was forced through a Hellenic sieve of of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy; on the Platonic side the essence of the unknowable is stressed, on the Aristotelian side the existential details are laid out in a highly logical fashion.

In this book you will learn why the Apostle's creed reads the way it does. You will learn the dissenting views that were pushed aside as anathema; 3 participants at the Nicene council refused to sign the Apostle creed revision and were excommunicated on the spot.

Why is it important that Jesus was born of a virgin? Exactly how was Jesus God and man at the same time? When and where did original sin and infant baptism come about. Jaroslav Pelikan is a brillant man who expounds upon all this and more in an eluminating fashion. If your Greek is not strong, I do recommend having wireless laptop with you to help out at those tricky points to understand words like homoousia and homoiousia.
A monument of scholarship  Sep 27, 2006
Volume 1 of Dr. Pelikan's 5 volume magnum opus is a breathtaking panorama of the development of Christian doctrine over the course of its first 6 centuries. Dr. Pelikan tells us what the infant Church taught, and the fascinating process by which it came to those conclusions, introducing us to the specific arguments of the various positions regarding issues like the relationship of the Old Covenant to the New, the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the question of Christian authority, predestination, grace, salvation, etc. This book is a sumptuous feast for the theologically-oriented mind and an intellectual achievement for the ages.

Two words in the book's subtitle should be emphasized to clarify the book's purpose; firstly, that this is a study of Christian_doctrine_, not a history of Christianity per se. The mention of dates and years is rare, and indeed, this book seems to operate in a world outside of time, where spiritual ideas are debated by disembodied theologians unmoored from any earthly context. As a history-buff, that lack of chronological perspective sometimes grates, but I came to accept that this is a historical study of ideas, not events, and the book is made stronger by its single-minded focus on that area. Secondly, the starting point of this book that has to be accepted is that the basics of Christian doctrine have come down to us by a_process_of revelation, development, evolution, and scholarly dialectics, not from the self-exegesis of Scripture Alone. Pelikan himself once sarcastically asked what human being could sit in a room with the New Testament and come up with the idea of the Trinity without the benefit of Tradition. That kind of thinking is no obstacle to those sectors of Christianity which believe that the Holy Spirit works through properly appointed authority (Eph 4:11-14) to ensure that Christ's one Church will never err in doctrine, but it might be a stumbling block to those Christians (particularly religiously anarchic Americans) who think that the whole of Christian doctrine, history and devotion is, and was intended to be, contained in and clearly spelled out in the pages of the New Testament, which fell from the sky on Good Friday 33 A.D. leather-bound, annotated and translated into the King James Version, ready-made to be individually interpreted anew by every generation of average Joe-Christians. As a previous reviewer said, this book is an antidote for ahistorical Christians.

Unlike his predecessor Harnack, Pelikan doesn't take the historical development of doctrine as a justification for religious relativism. Pelikan always approached his subject from the perspective of a believer, and even though he wrote this book as a Lutheran and later converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, I-as a Catholic- find no cause for any accusation of sectarian bias in his work. This is a work of impartial scholarship through and through, on a subject which is ripe for the insertion of denominational proclivities. My criticisms are minor: as far as I can recall, this book barely touched on the questions of Biblical canon and pre- 5th century Roman claims of primacy, two subjects I would describe as "doctrinal" but of which Dr. Pelikan apparently disagreed. In his section on infant baptism, he apparently neglected the testimony of St. Polycarp (died ca 155-167- a self-described "Christian for 86 years") as an additional buttress to the tradition. And there are stray sentences which could have been rendered with less theological opacity. But these are minor. This is the standard reference work for any serious student of Christianity, and will likely remain so for many decades to come.
Learn at the Feet of a Master Historian  Jul 4, 2006
The late Jaroslav Pelikan demonstrates why he is the master ecclesiastical historian of our era in his five volume series _The Christian Tradition_. While Adolf Harnack made tremendous strides respecting Dogmengeschichte, there is no history of early church doctrine more readable and scholarly than Pelikan's five volume series. Jean Danielou's series is excellent. But still not on par with _The Christian Tradition_ by Pelikan.

In volume 1, we are treated to a non-linear discussion of doctrinal history from 100-600 CE. Pelikan touches on the notions of impassibility (apatheia), predestination, Christology, the Trinity and much more. He carefully defines key working nomenclature in the treatise and he packs the book with marginal notes for ease of reference. In the final analysis, Pelikan teaches us what the church has universally professed, taught and believed. Moreover, the author tries to be fair in his analyses while he offers some trenchant criticisms in volume one.

My favorite portion of this work is the discussion regarding Christology and the Trinity doctrine. In chapter four, which reviews the Arian Controversy, Pelikan argues that the Arians and orthodox pro-Nicenes had more in common than previously has been supposed. He reviews the factors that precipitated the famed controversy and supplies references demonstrating the common elements that obtained between Arius and those who opposed him.

Pelikan is never deterred from his primary goal of elucidating doctrinal history; nor does he allow political or social developments to distract him. Hence, if you enjoy reading about Dogmengeschichte, buy this work. You will have a chance to learn from the master historian. I own all five volumes and find them to be indispensable for serious historical research.

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