Jaroslav Pelikan’s insistence on the continuity of Christian thought throughout its history — that is, on the essential consistency and sufficiency of that tradition — is very heavy-handed, in my opinion; nonetheless, this is a useful quote from him on the subject of religious tradition:

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.


2 Responses to “Pelikan”

  1. alsturgeon Says:

    I’ve seen that somewhere along the way – the first line makes for a great bumper sticker, but I especially appreciate the second sentence. Reminds me of some advice you probably forgot giving me years ago that meant a lot to me – stuff I’m still trying to sort out in practice.

  2. Terry A. Says:

    All I know is this guy’s beak holds more than his belly can.

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