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The 20th-century German theologian Erik Peterson, whose conversion from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism was the occasion for a great deal of ecclesiological soul-searching after the second World War, has had a substantive influence on theology both in Europe and in the English-speaking world. However, those in the latter camp have, until now, suffered from a dearth of quality English translations of Peterson’s work. This has been particularly problematic due to the rather ponderous and technical nature of Peterson’s German prose.

Thanks to Michael J. Hollerich’s new volume of translations (from Stanford University Press’ generally excellent “Cultural Memory in the Present” series), it looks as though Peterson’s writings might now be much more accessible to English-speaking students and readers. Readers new to Peterson are sure to gain, if nothing else, an understanding of the way that Peterson’s thought has impacted such contemporary figures as Reinhard Huetter and Pope Benedict XVI.

And if all this helps to further interest in one who, for my money, is one of the most interesting post-Enlightenment thinkers on ecclesiology and ethics, then that will be all to the good.

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