Jaroslav Pelikan’s Road to Orthodoxy

Jaroslav Pelikan is undoubtedly on the the most important specialist in church history and historical theology of the last century. As it is well known, Pelikan is a late adherent to Orthodoxy, after living most of his ecclesial life as an ordained minister of the Lutheran Church.

I have written HERE about my meeting with him at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.
In the article below, that can be downloaded in PDF format, one of his long-term friends and former colleague, Robert L Wilken, talks about Pelikan’s road to Orthodoxy.

Wilken, Robert L, – Jaroslav Pelikan and the Road to Orthodoxy

I note here something that may sound very strange for the Romanian readership of this blog. The author of this article is a Lutheran converted to Catholicism and it was published in 2010 in Concordia Theological Quarterly, the theological journal of a Lutheran school, Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

* * *


Could you ever imagine such a gracious ecumenical acceptance in any Romanian religious context, be that Catholic, Evangelical or Orthodox? I cannot.

If you want the proof of that, search as deep as you can and I will guarantee that you will not find the slightest reference to my name in any of the institutions I have served in important capacities, since 1990 until now. Here is a list: Fundatia Filocalia, Iasi; Editura Logos, Cluj; Universitatea Emanuel, Oradea; Colegiul Richard Wurmbrand, Iasi. No comment needed, I guess.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

10 thoughts on “Jaroslav Pelikan’s Road to Orthodoxy”

  1. Motivele pentru care CTQ a publicat articolul nu sunt greu de găsit. Citez din finalul articolului: “Though he ended his life in the Orthodox Church, his [Pelikan’s] love and respect for Lutheranism remained undiminished. Jaroslav Pelikan died, I am confident, in the hope and with the prayer that one day the vision of the Lutheran reformers would be celebrated in union with the Orthodox Church.” Dialogul dintre luterani şi ortodocşi începe de pe la 1560. La noi încă n-a început…


  2. I was also surprised to hear that Concordia Simposia Conference 2009 (held in winter) would have such a topic.

    Later I found out that this bation of conservative and confessional Lutheranism (Concordia Theological Seminary, located in Fort Wayne Indiana, part of LCMS http://www.ctsfw.edu/Page.aspx?pid=839 ) has invited distinct non-lutheran speakers to speak on topics of expertise.

    There is a diff. lutheran school of theology in Chicago (I think it is under the wings of ELCA).

    HERE is a link to a most important and relevant inter-confessional conversation:
    16th Century Lutheran & Orthodox Exchange by Dr. Eve Tibbs (Eastern Orthdodox)


    1. So, you are saying that the journal in which this paper appeared is not the one in Chicago? If so, I nee to make the correction. Please confirm. Thanks.


      1. Concordia Theological Quarterly is published by Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne Indiana, and is one of the 2 seminaries serving the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. CTQ homepage http://www.ctsfw.edu/Page.aspx?pid=675

        Diff. than the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. http://www.lstc.edu/

        I do think it needs correction, especially in light of the fact that Concordia seminaries are very conservative and confessional.

        Check out their next years Simposia conference: http://www.ctsfw.edu/Page.aspx?pid=839


  3. the union of the Lutheran Church (Lutheran World Federation – LWF and the International Lutheran Council) and the Orthodox Church (both Eastern and Oriental) is a dream, that I wish to see happen in my lifetime.

    I am afraid it will just be a dream, since both the Orthodox churches and the confessional Lutheran churches will not agree on UNION without common understanding on theology and dogma.

    Kyrie eleison!


    1. you mean the 5 series magnus opus called “The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine” ?

      Excuse my ignorance, but who is Henri Blocher ?


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