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August 12, 2003

Historian Jaroslav Pelikan To Be Honored at Library of Congress Sept. 9

Historian Jaroslav Pelikan will be honored in a special lecture titled "Orthodoxy and Western Culture," which will be given by Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation, at the Library of Congress at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Room 119, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and is part of a yearlong series of events in honor of the distinguished career and 80th birthday of Jaroslav Pelikan, one of the world’s leading scholars of the history of Christianity. Pelikan was the first senior distinguished visiting scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Pelikan is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University, where he served on the faculty from 1962 to 1996 and was dean of the graduate school from 1973 to 1978. He was president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1994 to 1997.

Born in 1923 in Akron, Ohio, Pelikan was educated at Concordia Junior College and subsequently earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminar and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. Pelikan has written more than 30 books, including the five-volume "The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine" (1971-89); "Jesus Through the Centuries" (1985); "Christianity and Classical Culture" (1995); "Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture" (1996); and the forthcoming four-volume "Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition." He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Thomas Jefferson Medal of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, was president of Brown University for nine years and served as president of the New York Public Library from 1981 to 1989. Born to Armenian parents in Tabriz, Iran, he earned a doctorate from Stanford University in 1964. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. Gregorian’s publications include "The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan: Politics of Reform and Modernization, 1880-1946" (1969) and "Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith" (2003). In 1998, President Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal.

Following the lecture, Pelikan will comment on his most recently completed book, the introductory volume of "Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition." In this work, titled "Credo," he surveys the history of creeds, delves into their meaning and purpose and probes the issues and controversies that spawn new creeds.

The Library of Congress established the John W. Kluge Center in 2000 through a generous endowment from its namesake, to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize, and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers and others in Washington. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, e-mail: or visit the Web at

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PR 03-129
ISSN 0731-3527

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