Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Need for Creeds

A nice way of commemorating Jaroslav Pelikan's passing might be by downloading a decent interview, where he attempts to put his formidable sense of history into engagment with an accurate representative of the American mind, Krista Tippett.

"As much as people may not like it," Pelikan explains, "to believe one thing is to disbelieve another. To say yes is also to say no."

Upon hearing the unvarnished history of the Nicene Creed, which like anything in employment for centuries will not be without its abuses, Krista playfully suggests it should be banned. Pelikan responds that her sentiment is a respectable one, is distinctly American, and traceable to Emerson (see below). The trouble with it is you do it once, you do it a little more, and then you have to teach your children something, and before you know it you have a tradition. So, "The only alternative to tradition... is bad tradition."

Seems some Africans have figured that out (witness the beautiful Maasai Creed). Wish we would.

Thanks to Lance for the heads-up to the show.