"Christianity and Classical Culture" by Jaroslav Pelikan

Christianity and Classical Culture The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism Jaroslav Pelikan

Series:
Gifford Lectures Series
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
03 Apr 1995
ISBN:
9780300062557
Dimensions:
384 pages: 234 x 156 x 32mm

Provides an account of the lives and writings of the Cappadocians, showing how they managed to be Greek and Christian at the same time. Pelikan concentrates on four Cappadocians: Gregory of Nazianzus; Basil of Caesarea; Gregory of Nyssa; and Macrina, sister and teacher of the latter two.

"This distinguished and impressive book introduces theologians and students of religion to a tradition of which they have for too long been ignorant."—Richard A. Norris, Jr., Union Theological Seminary

"The importance of [Pelikan's] book is patent. It has provided a firm foundation for the study of the cultural synthesis of Christianity and the Greek paideia in the post-Cappadocian period."—Frank R. Trombley, Catholic Historical Review

"This book is at once learned and wise. One has to reach back nearly half a century—to Werner Jaeger, George Florovsky, or to Arthur Darby Nock—to find an historian who can present the world of hellenistic philosophy and Greek theology with equal mastery. Without the nervous noise of a scholar intent on driving home his own thesis, Jaroslav Pelikan allows himself to become the spokesman for the wisdom of the Greek Fathers—in a lucid, modern language which spans the distance between past and present."—Heiko A. Oberman, Regents Professor of History, University of Arizona

"With his rare gift of combining clarity with great learning, Pelikan has provided an authoritative and readable guide to the most important early flowering of Christian thought in the Greek world. Both as an introduction and as an enduring work of reference, this volume is a worthy companion to its monumental predecessors in the series of Gifford Lectures. It illuminates the achievement of the great Cappadocian thinkers who wedded Greek philosophy with Christian faith."—Zeph Stewart, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities Emeritus, Harvard University 

"In this learned and informative book, Jaroslav Pelikan offers a fresh account of how the great fourth century Christian thinkers reshaped the intellectual traditions of the classical world in the light of Christian revelation. With its attention to detail as well as its sensitivity to perennial issues, Pelikan's study of the 'Cappadocians' gives scholars and students a renewed appreciation of the roots of our civilization."—Robert L. Wilken, University of Virginia

"This is powerful, well organized writing by an expert deeply at home in the sources and sympathetic to his heroes."—Henry Chadwick, The Catholic Herald

"As ever, Pelikan proves to be a master guide for the reader to this complex landscape of religious tradition and philosophical subtlety. . . . Highly recommended for academic and public libraries."—Choice

"[A] brilliant and meticulous study. . . . With his usual thoroughness, Pelikan has mastered not only the writings of the four Cappadocians, but most of the secondary literature on them as well."—Paul Maier, Christian Century

"A masterly, even elegant synthesis of the major ideas of these seminal thinkers whose work ultimately influences not only Orthodox theology but, in this ecumenical age, all of Christian theology."—James S. Torrens, America

"A brilliant exposition of the Cappadocians' theology, and a book we must be thankful for."—Carol Harrison, Church Times

"Pelikan provides sharper focus and a more profound depth of vision than any survey could offer. . . . Essential for those who would comprehend the passage from pagan antiquity to Byzantium."—Paul B. Harvey, Jr., The Historian

"A pleasure to read, not only for its conceptual arrangement and its smart, flowing prose. . . . This book is a welcome addition to the plentiful literature on Christianity and Hennenism."—Peter C. Bouteneff, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly

 "The intellectual ambition of this volume is very great, and its implications for our understanding of Christian and, more specifically, Anglican history are even greater."—Richard J. Shoeck, Sewanee Theological Review

"Christianity and Classical Culture . . . is the work of a master. The author's intimate knowledge of the subject is matched by his awareness of the implications of that subject for the broad expanse of Christian thought. The richly texture document should delight and challenge the student of early Christian doctrine."—Rebecca Harden Weaver, Interpretation, A Journal of Bible and Theology

"This immensely learned. . .[work is] extremely fascinating and absorbing, and a timely reminder of the continuing importance of the wisdom of the past — even the distant past."—Arthur Long, Faith & Freedom Book Reviews

"Jaroslav Pelikan has produced another volume to rival those for which his name has become so justly respected. . . . Pelikan's grasp is encyclopedic."—Edward F. Duffy, Princeton Seminary Bulletin

"Interweaving well-selected quotations taken from the whole corpus of the Cappadocians' works with his own exposition, Professor Pelikan has succeeded in presenting an impressive synthesis of Cappadocian thought on all major philosophical and theological issues. His mastery of the primary sources in the original Greek and his familiarity with the immense secondary literature in all languages are awe inspiring."—David L. Balás, Journal of Religion

"This book may well stand as one of the most significant and enduring theological contributions of our age."—John C. Cavadini, Modern Theology

"The encounter between Christianity and classical culture has been a controversial subject and the focus of several outstanding studies, from late antiquity to the present. The present volume, refreshing and timely, is beautifully produced and a source of real intellectual hedonism. It should be of value to specialists and non-specialists alike interested in the classics, late antiquity, patristics, church history, and the history of cultural transformations."—Demetrios Constantelos, Classical World

"One cannot do justice to the breadth and depth of Pelikan's analysis in a review. His Gifford Lectures richly complement those of his eminent predecessors . . . and the results of his continued study of Christian tradition earn him a place in that tradition alongside John Henry Newman, whose work he obviously admires and so admirably continues."—Gerard H. Ettlinger, Church History

"In this engrossing study . . . Pelikan [provides] an in-depth, parallel exposition of Cappadocian natural theology: first, as a framework of philosophical and theological presuppostitions within which to deploy Christian apologetics; and, second, as the superstructure of doctrinal orthodoxy."—Victoria Nichole Voytko, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion