Jaroslav Pelikan is the author of numerous astonishingly learned books, including Jesus Through the Centuries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985) and the five volumes of The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1971–1989). On the occasion of his retirement from Yale he has co-curated an exhibit on “The Reformation of the Bible/The Bible of the Reformation” and written a short book to go along with it.
The first half of the book is Pelikan’s elegant presentation of the learning, passion and artistry of the Reformation that transformed European culture and changed forever the way we understand the Bible. The second half is the catalogue of the exhibit, chock full of sumptuous photographs of the first printed Bibles (in Hebrew, Greek, Algonquin, etc.) and the Bible-inspired arts of the time, featuring prints by Hans Holbein, Lucas Cranach and especially Albrecht Dürer. The exhibit is being held at Southen Methodist University, Yale, Harvard and Columbia/Union Theological Seminary during 1996–1997. Even without the exhibit, the book is a treasure.