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Jaroslav Pelikan Studies on History and Theology (3 vols.)
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Jaroslav Pelikan Studies on History and Theology (3 vols.)


Wipf & Stock 2014

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Gathering Interest


Jaroslav Pelikan was one of the foremost intellectuals of the twentieth century. He was dean of Yale Graduate School from 1973–1978, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, editor of the religious section of Encyclopedia Britannica, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and founder of the Council of Scholars at the Library of Congress. This collection pairs two of his books that examine the connection between art and theology. Bach Among the Theologians offers a unique look into the theological influences and implications of the great composer’s work, while Fools for Christ examines six other figures in the Western aesthetic tradition and how their work grew out of their grappling with the divine.

The Logos editions these texts are designed to enhance and accelerate your study. Fully indexed texts enable near-instant search results for words, people, places, and ideas, while Scripture references appear on mouseover in your preferred translation. Find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the good, the true, and the beautiful. Pull up primary texts from modern and ancient philosophy for side-by-side comparison. With the most efficient and comprehensive research tools all in one place, you can deepen your study with just a few clicks. And with Logos tablet and mobile apps, you can take your study wherever you go.

Key Features

  • Presents three volumes from one of the twentieth century’s foremost intellectuals
  • Examines how Christian doctrine developed over the centuries
  • Includes a dictionary of philosophical and theological topics written by Pelikan

Praise for the Author

Jaroslav Pelikan ranged so widely in his exploration of historic Christian traditions, and his work probed so deeply, that it is a real boon to see Wipf and Stock bringing some of his books back into print. They were excellent reading when they first appeared; they remain excellent reading today.

—Mark A. Noll, McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Product Details

  • Title: Jaroslav Pelikan Studies on History and Theology (3 vols.)
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 678
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Theology

Individual Titles

Historical Theology: Continuity and Change in Christian Doctrine

  • Author: Jaroslav Pelikan
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 242

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Change is a universal phenomenon that commands the attention of the historian. For Christian theology, change raises special difficulties. How are we to reconcile the notion of the revelation of an unchanging God, who is abiding truth, with the notion of the pervading mutability of all human affairs? This problem, which is as old as religion, is intensified by the Christian belief in the fullness and finality of the revelation made through Jesus Christ.

Professor Pelikan begins his study of historical theology with this basic problem and traces the origins of the difficulties that inevitably follow upon the admission of the possibility of change. His investigations lead him to critically examine the dogmatic solution of Vincent of Lerins, the later dialectical interpretation of Abelard, the approach of Thomas Aquinas, and finally, the nineteenth century's Adolf von Harnack to propose a working definition of Christian doctrine and of the task of the historical theologian.

Pelikan's work is a perceptive and penetrating study of the interaction of history and theology. Theology must be historical because man is historical. To neglect history, or worse still, to renounce it, is to deny man and theology their common future. Historical Theology is a worthy introduction to a task that must continually seek to weld past, present, and future into a living whole.

The Excellent Empire: The Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church

  • Author: Jaroslav Pelikan
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 152

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This remarkable account by an award-winning historian details the responses to the fall of Rome by the church fathers, who set the pattern for interpreting this momentous event for all succeeding centuries.

“To speak about the decline and fall of the Roman empire as ‘the social triumph of the ancient church’ is to look at the events associated with that ‘memorable revolution’ … through the eyes of the victors,” writes the author. “The thoroughness of the victors has often seen to it that there remains no other way for us to view those events. Not only are we--for this period as for so many others throughout most of human history--denied access to the mind of the common people as they watched this history in the making, such that we are forced to depend on the documents provided by various of the elites of the fourth and fifth centuries; but among the documents of those elites, only some have been permitted to survive.”

Jerome, Christian humanist and translator of the Bible into Latin, represents an apocalyptic view of the crisis. Eusebius, court theologian and founder of church history, saw the fall of Rome as the sign of a new order, the "Christian Empire." And Augustine, fountainhead of much of Western thought during the millennium that followed, used it as the basis for his City of God. The unifying theme in this historical panorama is the final revisionist view of the fall by its greatest historian, Edward Gibbon. All of these interpretations of the fall of Rome continue to live today and deeply influence our understanding of Western culture.

The Melody of Theology: A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Author: Jaroslav Pelikan
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 284

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The German Romantic theologian and philosopher Schleiermacher wrote, “The virtuosity (or special calling) of a person is at the same time the melody of that person’s life, and it remains a simple, meager series of notes unless religion, with its endlessly rich variety, accompanies it with all notes and raises the simple song to a full-voiced, glorious harmony.” It is around this melody that Jaroslav Pelikan, a great theologian of our own day, weaves the polyphonic threads of philosophy, theology, morals, history, and personality to create a singular portrait of his life and work.

Among the large topics addressed in this volume are the Bible, Faith, Grace, Reformation and Renaissance, and Sin. Among the towering figures of religion and theology are Dante, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Erasmus, Gibbon, Martin Luther, Paul the Apostle, and Schleiermacher. Among the technical topics analyzed are Apocatastasis, Christian Creeds, the term “Ecumenical,” Eschatology, Patristics, and the Trinity. “The Melody of Theology” belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who wants to study a history and tradition that precede us and will continue after us, and also of the reader who would like to make the acquaintance of a subtle analytic mind and a generous open heart.

I found Pelikan's thinking fascinating, elegant, informative, scholarly, and deeply personal and attractive . . . There is always some insight to gain. [Pelikan's book] provides a course in nearly the whole of Christian faith and history--in terms of just one person's journey.

—Robert B. Coote, Pacific Theological Review

About Jaroslav Pelikan

Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006) was Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He authored many books, including Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures through the Ages and Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition.