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The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 4:…
de Jaroslav Pelikan
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Bibliography: p. 386 Includes indices
Pelikan's 4th volume in his 5-volume Christian Tradition focuses on perhaps the most familiar topic of historical Christianity (at least after the life of Jesus and the Resurrection): The Reformation. And scholar that he is, Pelikan has a nine-page "Preface" of sorts titled "Reformation Defined" -- as if the 400-plus pages that follow weren't enough. Pelikan is nothing if not thorough.
For Pelikan -- one can reasonably substitute "truth" for his exhaustive research -- the Reformation is much more than Luther's rabble-rousing. He traces a "pregnant plurality of fourteenth-century thought" that predated Luther by a century and a half, including names both familiar and unfamiliar. If one can critique Pelikan's work to this point, it would ironically be the lack of it: corners actually had to be cut to get the text down to the 400-plus pages in volume 4. The reader is invariably left wanting more information; but of course, Pelikan's expansive bibliography and notes offer more than enough opportunity for further research.
What higher praise can I offer than this: I will be learning from these volumes for the rest of my life. They will be among the most important books in my library. But it is not easy reading; what good has been accomplished without significant effort? And now off to begin volume 5!
Pelikan's History of the Development of Doctrine is a magisterial five volume labour of love, and this, volume four, is no exception. Intricately woven narratives tracing, it must always be remembered, the development of doctrine, not politics or sociology or, in the narrowest sense of the word, church history. Do not read this book to discover what Johannes Œcolampadius had for breakfast or to sus out Zwingli's school record. Don't read it either if you want a light brouse through the period: this is demanding, as all these volumes of Pelikan are. Ideally it should be read with pen and paper: so many notes to take, questions to answer of - and have answered by - the text. Again Pelikan generates a sort of spiral across doctrines and across time, so the book has, effectively (as the series title indicates) two axes: doctrine and time. Early developments in Reformation eucharistic theology for example, come, go, and reappear a century or half a century later attached to new names, new refinements of argument. Don't expect much mention of' 'followers' - this is a story of the theological cutting edge, leaving little room for mention, for example, of the tardy English Reformers or Anglicanism itself, piggy-backing as they did on the European intellectual maelstrom.
I have read this book twice now (it seems I am a slower reader now than I was 15 years ago, though perhaps I can claim I am busier!). It stretched me, pummelled me tormented me - yet each time I feel I barely scratched the surface. My own impression, each time, has been that the Reformation was a tragic accident - that the Catholic Reformers, rather than the Protestant ones, nailed the issues only to be brushed aside for 200 years by the bigger, brasher (and politically more belligerent) figures such as Calvin and Luther. More is the pity. Figures like Jean Charlier de Gerson or the later Girolamo Seripando emerge, for me, as the heroes of this torrid intellectual tale. Since Pelikan was a Lutheran (until the last few years of his life, when he became Orthodox) and I am an Anglican this subtle facet of Pelikan's writing stands as tribute to his intellectual genius and authorial integrity - no bias to his pen!
A masterful and magisterial analysis of the development of doctrine in Roman Catholicism and Refomation churches from 1300-1700.
Pelikan traces the same lines of doctrine as in past volumes and shows how the issues are handled in the various groups and on account of the various groups.
A most excellent analysis of a very challenging period of history.
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)
This penultimate volume in Pelikan's acclaimed history of Christian doctrine—winner with Volume 3 of the Medieval Academy's prestigious Haskins Medal—encompasses the Reformation and the developments that led to it. "Only in America, and in this case from a Lutheran scholar, could we expect an examination so lacking in parti pris, a survey so perceptive, so free—and, one must say, the result of so much immense labor, so rewardingly presented."—John M. Todd, New York Times Book Review "Never wasting a word or losing a plot line, Pelikan builds on an array of sources that few in our era have the linguistic skill, genius or ambition to master."—Martin E. Marty, America "The use of both primary materials and secondary sources is impressive, and yet it is not too formidable for the intelligent layman."—William S. Barker, Eternity
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)230 — Religions Christian doctrinal theology Christianity, Christian theology
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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