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Publisher: University of Chicago

Jaroslav Pelikan


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The Christian Tradition, Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)

A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume I
The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)

By the year 600 Christian doctrine had achieved what Jaroslav Pelikan terms an "unorthodox consensus"- the foundation for the development of doctrine in later periods. Beginning with the "Christian declaration of independence from Judaism," the years 100 to 600 were a period of great ferment and vitality when the fundamental affirmations of Christian dogma emerged from a welter to beliefs and teachings.

The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition is the history of this critical, troubled time. Pelikan focuses upon the subtle relation between what the faithful believed, what teachers-both orthodox and heretical-taught, and what the church confessed as dogma during its first six centuries of growth. In constructing his work, Pelikan has made use of exegetical and liturgical sources in addition to the usual polemical, apologetic, and systematic or speculative materials.

"This work is a notable beginning to an important enterprise... It is the exploration, sifting, and assessment from the point of view of our historical situation of a great tradition from which we can draw wisdom applicable to the problems of our own time... Pelikan's work is a fine contribution to the renewal of Christianity in all its dimensions." -John Macquarrie, New York Times Review

Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006) was the Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and the author of numerous volumes on the history of Christianity.

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