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Jaroslav Pelikan

US historian of Christianity, Christian theology and medieval intellectual history at Yale
Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan (December 17, 1923 – May 13, 2006) was a scholar of the history of Christianity, Christian theology and medieval intellectual history at Yale.

QuotesEdit

  • Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.
    • The Vindication of Tradition: 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities (1984), p. 65.
    • Alternate version" Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. Tradition lives in conversation with the past, while remembering where we are and when we are and that it is we who have to decide. Traditionalism supposes that nothing should ever be done for the first time, so all that is needed to solve any problem is to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimony of this homogenized tradition.
      • in "Christianity as an enfolding circle," U.S. News & World Report (June 26, 1989), p. 57

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