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Document Details :

Title: Christ and the Pelican
Subtitle: Function, Background and Impact of an Image
Author(s): NICKLAS, Tobias , SPITTLER, Janet E.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 92    Issue: 2   Date: 2016   
Pages: 323-337
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.92.2.3154618

Abstract :
This essay considers early Christian adaptation of the pelican, which, according to multiple ancient sources, resurrects its children with blood from its own breast. In tracing the multiple versions of this account and its use in both Christian and non-Christian texts, we highlight one example of a broader phenomenon, that is, Christian adaptation of pre-existing accounts of the miraculous elements of nature in service of making the more paradoxical and miraculous elements of Christian belief both comprehensible and credible.

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