Jesus Through the Centuries
His Place in the History of Culture New edition
By (author) Jaroslav Pelikan
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Jesus Through the Centuries by Jaroslav Pelikan
Book DescriptionA discussion about how each age created Jesus in its own image, discovering in his life and teachings the answers to fundamental questions of human life and destiny. It studies the images of Jesus cherished by successive ages, suggesting that the depictions are key to understanding each era.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300079876
(210mm x 140mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jaroslav Pelikan
Imago Dei, Paperback (September 2011)
Charts the theological defense of icons during the Iconoclastic controversies of the eighth and ninth centuries, whose high point came in AD 787, when the Second Council of Nicaea restored the cult of images in the church. This title demonstrates how the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation eventually provided the basic rationale for images.
Credo, Paperback (December 2005)
One of the world's leading theologians offers important insights into the history and significance of Christian creeds.
Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution, Hardback (April 2004)
Jaroslav Pelikan compares the methods by which the official interpreters of the Bible and the Constitution - the Christian Church and the Supreme Court, respectively - have approached the necessity of interpreting, and reinterpreting, their important texts.
Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, Paperback (November 1998)» View all books by Jaroslav Pelikan
The hard-won recognition that divine authority and human freedom ultimately cannot be in conflict must never be taken for granted, and the irony that the thought of Paul has repeatedly been invoked to undo that recognition truly does make this insight one of 'the permanent elements.'"-from the Introduction
US Kirkus Review » Ask anyone to name the most influential person in history, and chances are the reply will be, simply, "Jesus." Here, Yale historian Pelikan ably explores the universe of power and influence embedded in that revered five-letter name, as he surveys the role of the carpenter from Galilee in "the general history of culture." Pelikan proceeds from the premise that the "image" of Jesus - his identity as perceived by successive epochs - is a mirror reflecting the course of Western civilization, and that tracing that image through time will reveal the "continuities and discontinuities" of the past two millennia. His project uncovers mostly discontinuities; Western culture's christological imagery changes dramatically from age to age. Pelikan begins by looking at the early concept of Jesus as prophet and and rabbi, prevalent in the first century. Subsequent chapters cover in chronological order 17 other major representations of Jesus. These include Jesus as Logos, as "bridegroom of the soul," as "Universal Man," and so on. Behind these wildly divergent images, however, a rainbowlike pattern emerges: Jesus's prestige arches steeply upwards from his humble origins as a crucified wonder-worker, reaches its apogee in his medieval elevation to alpha and omega of the cosmos, declines in modern times to his quasi-mundane role as prototypical social liberator. This man, it seems, can be all things to all people; like the Beauty he embodied for the Romantics, Jesus lies in the eyes of the beholder. A lively writer, Pelikan salts his study with delightful ironies and oddities, such as the crucial role played by two American presidents - Jefferson and Lincoln, both believers in separation of church and state - in redefining modern attitudes towards Jesus. He also offers some tantalizing speculations: would Auschwitz have befallen the Jews if Christendom had acknowledged Jesus as Rabbi Jeshua bar-Joseph as well as Son of Cod? The book as a whole suggests a larger question: what might our planet be like today if Jesus had never lived? On the basis of this stimulating, scholarly, but never tedious book, the question is too large to answer; Jesus's influence has been so pervasive that we cannot imagine the world without him. (Kirkus Reviews)
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