The John W. Kluge Center seeks to bring a group of the world's best senior thinkers -the Kluge Scholars - into residence, to stimulate, energize, and distill wisdom from the rich resources of the Library and to interact naturally over a period of time with political Washington.
On November 29, 2004, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the award of the second John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Human Sciences to Jaroslav Pelikan of New Haven, Conn., and Paul Ricoeur of Paris.
Paul Ricoeur is a philosopher who believes in the duty to explain and to comprehend, to understand questions such as: "What makes us human"? He insists on the centrality of interpretation for humanistic learning. Arguing against both the materialist and the idealist positions, he stresses active creative thought and its roles in memory, narrative, history, law, culture and belief. He rehabilitates the Western humanistic tradition as an interconnected fabric of meaning. Key books: "The Living Metaphor" (1975); "Time and Narrative" (three volumes, 1983-1985); and "Oneself as Another" (1990).
Jaroslav Pelikan has made unrivaled contributions to intellectual, cultural and religious history. His major achievements include: his authoritative work on the life and work of Martin Luther, both his own writing on Luther and his painstaking translation of Luther's writings (called "Luther's Works," a series of 22 volumes, which Pelikan edited from 1955 to 1971); his original and monumental five-volume "The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine" (1971-1989); and, his volumes that gather together the proliferation of Christian sects in our time, particularly in the Third World, "Credo: Historical and Theological Introduction to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition" (1994).
Ricoeur and Pelikan have ties to the University of Chicago. They walked the campus when librarians studied there as once we had the GLS.
See John Richardson's books. The Gospel of Scholarship: Pierce Butler and a Critique of American Librarianship. (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1992) and The Spirit of Inquiry: The Graduate Library School at Chicago, 1921-1951. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1982).