Monday, 15 May 2006

Jaroslav Pelikan: 1923-2006

I was deeply saddened to learn that our greatest contemporary church historian, Jaroslav Pelikan, has died.

Pelikan passed away on Saturday at the age of 82, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was the Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University, where he served on the faculty from 1962 to 1996. He wrote more than 30 books, including the brilliant 5-volume work The Christian Tradition, which is perhaps the best single history of Christian theology ever written. He was also involved in editing and translating many historical works, including the 55-volume American edition of Luther’s Works, and the 4-volume Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition.

A life-long Lutheran and an ordained Lutheran minister, Pelikan entered the Orthodox Church in 1998. He was a profound and gifted scholar who will be sadly missed.

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