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Jaroslav Pelikan, widely viewed as the preeminent scholar of Christian history, died May 13 of lung cancer at his home in Hamden, Connecticut. He was 82. The Yale emeritus professor and theologian, former president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, wrote more than 30 books, including the acclaimed five-volume series, The Christian Tradition. Born in Ohio, Pelikan followed his pastor-father into the Lutheran ministry. He received his Ph.D. at age 22 and taught at Valparaiso University, Concordia Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago before joining the Yale faculty in 1962. In 1998 he and his wife were received into the Orthodox Church in America at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, New York, and he was active in OCA matters. Well into his retirement Pelikan continued to publish. His 2005 book Whose Bible Is It? explored how language and cultural differences led to differing biblical interpretations.

 

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