Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan will present the memoirs of his grandfather, the renowned Soviet Armenian philosopher, Professor Artavazd M. Minasyan (1913-1993) in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7PM.
Entitled, How Did I Survive?, Professor Minasyan’s memoirs were translated into English and edited by Dr. Gevorkyan, who will present the book.
Professor Minasyan was one of the founders of the dialectic school of philosophy. He made immense contributions to the scientific content of philosophy through his numerous research articles, monographs, textbooks, and conference presentations.
The book tells the remarkable story of an intellectual of the highest caliber, and the challenges, controversies, destruction and injustice posed by life in the Soviet Union. The author unveils intricate details of his time, describing his fight for survival and what inspired and gave him strength to go on from the days of his hungry childhood, Stalin’s purges, facing the enemy one-on-one during World War II, or struggling in peacetime for the right to voice alternative views in science.
Covering the period of approximately eighty years from the early 1910s to the early 1990s the narrative coincides with the author’s life-journey, touching upon every significant event of the time and the author’s personal involvement in each case. These situations are not told in simple chronological enumeration, but are enriched with complex nuances. They are analyzed through the prism of time and the author’s adherence to dialectical critique. Hence one man’s life becomes the reflection of the life of the entire country.
Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan is Assistant Professor of Economics in Department of Economics and Finance of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York City; a Vincentian Research Fellow at the Vincentian Centre for Church and Society, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Business Stewardship. Dr. Gevorkyan also serves as Economics Subject Matter Expert for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See To the United Nations in New York. Additionally, Dr. Gevorkyan has worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Central Bank of Armenia. Dr. Gevorkyan’s extensive teaching and research experience covers themes in macroeconomic policy, economic development, international financial economics, labor migration, sovereign debt, commodities markets, and post-socialist transition economics. Dr. Gevorkyan is a co-editor (with Otaviano Canuto) of Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016). He is also the author of Innovative Fiscal Policy and Economic Development in Transition Economies (Routledge, 2013 in paperback; 2011 in hardcover).
The book presentation is open to the public and free of charge. Books will be available for sale during a reception that will follow the presentation.
CLICK HERE to download a full-color flyer. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 686-0710.
The Zohrab Center’s Autumn Enrichment Series will begin on Tuesday, September 27 with a presentation by Dr. Roberta Ervine entitled, In the Harsh Light of Genocide: Armenian Thoughts on Immortality.
Dr. Ervine is Professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. She is a regular lecturer at the Zohrab Center.
The Genocide forced Armenians to reconsider their human experience in the light of mass death and dislocation. In an insecure and threatening world, what can one depend on? Is there a life after death, and if so, who is in charge of it? Where does it happen? What is it like? What qualities make a person, a community, or an ethnic group immortal? Does immortality have anything to do with faith? How does immortality relate to traditional Armenian religious teaching, if at all?
On an almost week-by-week basis, Armenian periodical literature from the 1920’s and 1930’s records the process by which these questions worked themselves out in the minds of survivors and Diaspora Armenians alike.
Rereading this long forgotten body of writings, Dr. Ervine will explore the new, post-Genocide thinking on the topic of immortality, and look at where Armenians turned to find inspiration and consolation in the uncertain decades immediately following the Genocide.
Since 2001 Professor Roberta Ervine has taught courses on
Classical and Modern Armenian Language, Church History, and Armenian Theology and Spirituality at St. Nersess Seminary in Armonk, New York. She earned her PhD in classical Armenian Studies from Columbia University and has done extensive research on topics related to medieval Armenian studies. She pursues topics related to the history of Armenians in Jerusalem and the intellectual tradition of the Armenian Middle Ages.
During the Spring she was the Henry K. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University, Fresno.
Dr. Ervine’s presentation will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York on Tuesday, Septmeber 27, 2016. All are invited to the event, which is free of charge. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at email@example.com or (212) 686-0710.
by V. REV. DANIEL FINDIKYAN
Every book tells two stories.
The first is contained within its pages, be it a novel, an atlas, a cookbook or a chemistry textbook. The second is the book’s own story—how that particular volume came to be—from the printing press to the bookstore or dealer—traversing perhaps multiple owners and readers, until it falls into your hands.
Recently the Zohrab Center was the beneficiary of the library of the late and beloved priest Fr. Garen Gdanian, who passed away in 2013. While sorting through cartons of books, I noticed the elegantly embossed leather binding that is the hallmark of a precious old book.
My suspicions were confirmed as I plucked it out of the box and carefully turned the book in my hands. Lustrous gilt edging glittered in my eyes while my fingers coursed over the grooves and ridges of the intricately embossed cover. Whoever bound this book spared no expense.
Stamped in gold leaf on the cover was this title: Առ բարձրաշնորհ Տ.Տ. Մաղաքիա Արքեպիսկոպոս Օրմանեան Պատրիարք Հայոց [T0 the Most Gracious Reverend Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian Patriarch of the Armenians].
He, of course, is the great Armenian churchman from the turn of the twentieth century, easily one of the greatest Armenian intellects of modern times, who served as Patriarch of Constantinople from 1896-1908.
Want to read more about the Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian along with an excerpt in English from his famous Gospel commentary, Hamabadoom? Click here for the latest issue of the Armenian Church magazine The Treasury / Գանձարան.
Yet while Ormanian was a gifted and prolific author, the cover indicates that this book was not written by him, but addressed to him.
My first thought was that the book contained a letter directed to the Patriarch, who was a controversial figure. He resigned his position as Patriarch under pressure from political extremists, who had attacked him for his stubborn refusal to support any form of violence in the Armenians’ opposition to Abdul Hamid’s regime. Could this book be some anti-Ormanian diatribe?
But no. A gilt inscription on the book’s thin spine reads Կրօնի Ուսում [Course in Religion].
Indeed, turning to the title page, we read the full title of the work:
Illustrated Course in Religion from the Known to the Unknown, from the Impenetrable to the Believable. A Face-to-Face Course and Graded Study. Intermediate Level.
The author is a certain Tavit Khachgonts (1866-1918). It was published by the Balentz Press and Bookstore in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1905.
Traversing the pages of our book we discover a comprehensive survey of the Armenian Church in 188 pages. It includes brief but incisive summaries of the Old and New Testaments, the history of the Armenian Church against the background of the universal church; key persons and saints, feasts and fasts, sacraments and liturgical services, vestments and vessels, church architecture and hierarchical structures, Armenian church pious customs and traditions, and more. A number of tables, charts and glossaries round out the extremely valuable manual, which may well be the finest one-volume survey of the Armenian Church that I have encountered.
The author adds this codicil to the title page:
To transmit Armenian Christianity to Armenian young people and to present their mother church as something for them to love.
A noble goal indeed.
So much for the first story.
The gilt inscription on the leather cover addressing the book to Patriarch Ormanian turns out to be a glorified gift tag. This copy was a personal gift. It was specially bound for the Armenian Patriarch, whose monogram, M.O., is stamped on the title page. This book once belonged to the great Maghakia Ormanian.
How did the book travel from the sacred galleries of the Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople over 100 years ago to Fr. Garen’s personal library in Troy, New York?
The mystery continues. Read on… Read more…
This season’s final Zohrab Center enrichment evening will be devoted to the legacy of the celebrated and beloved Armenian priest-musician-composer, Komitas Vartabed.
Ashley Bozian-Murtha will present a talk entitled, Komitas Vartabed and the Survival of Armenian Music at the Zohrab Center on Thursday, June 9 at 7PM.
Komitas is a central figure in the history of Armenian music, particularly the sacred music of the Armenian Church. His contributions span liturgical, folk, and even concert music. Surprisingly, despite his universal admiration today, during his lifetime his work earned him the ire of church officials and his fellow clergymen, who frequently denounced him as a musicological firebrand and moral deviant.
Perhaps more significant than his work inside Armenia, however, is his legacy to the global Armenian diaspora. While controversial during his lifetime, Komitas was uniquely positioned to preserve Armenian music from the oblivion of genocide. Were it not for his oft-condemned inclination to transcribe and transform the music of Armenia, that vast tradition may well have perished in the attempted destruction of the Armenian people.
Much research exists on the life of Komitas, and on Armenian music as a separate entity, but there remains a relative paucity of work to place the two in context with one another. Ms. Bozian-Murtha will survey and sort through the biographical, musicological, and historical research on the composer and his impact on Armenian music. Analyzing the composer’s original compositions and transcriptions along with secondary biographical sources and historical data, she asserts that the very survival of Armenian music in the aftermath of the Genocide is a direct result of Komitas’s labors.
Ashley Bozian-Murtha is a PhD candidate in History at St. John’s University (New York). She holds a B.A. in History and Music and an M.Ed. from Manhattanville College (New York). Following her undergraduate work, she earned an MA in Music History from Hunter College, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the life and work of Komitas Vartabed.
The program will be held in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York. All are welcome to attend the free event, which will be followed by a reception.
For further information contact the Zohrab Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 686-0710.
The Zohrab Center will feature two extraordinary opportunities for Armenian learning, enrichment and conversation next week.
Saints and the Armenian People
On Tuesday, May 24 Dr. Marianna Apresyan, Instructor of Theology at the Gevorkyan Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin, will lecture on the Saints in the Life and Worship of the Armenian People [Սուրբերը հայ ժողովուրդի կեանքին ու պաշտամունքին մէջ]. She will lecture in Armenian but a printed text of her talk in English translation will be provided.
Also participating will be His Eminence Abp. Yeznik Petrosyan of Holy Etchmiadzin, who is a long-time member of the Armenian Bible Society. He will speak about the work of the Bible Society in Armenia to translate the Bible into Modern Armenia and to disseminate it.
Three Early Armenian Churches and their Message
On Thursday, May 26, Professor Christina Maranci, Arthur H. Dadian and Ara T. Oztemel Associate Professor of Armenian Art at Tufts University, will deliver a talk entitled, Vigilant Powers: Ethics, Art History and Preservation of Armenian Churches.
Dr. Maranci, returns to the Zohrab Center to present her new book, Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Medieval Armenia. The leading historian of Armenian art and architecture in the West today, she will present the case of three iconic Armenian Churches built during the “global wars” of the seventh century: Mren, Zvartnots and Ptghni. Examining the meaning of their unique designs, she will show how Armenian architects were closely engaged with both Byzantine imperial interests and with contemporary events in the Holy Land, as she uncovers Christian Armenia’s vibrant visual culture, its message, and its precarious state today.
Copies of Dr. Maranci’s book will be available for sale.
Both events will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York at 7PM. All are warmly invited to attend the free events. Each will be followed by a reception and conversation.
For further information contact the Zohrab Center at email@example.com or (212) 686-0710.
Dr. Bedross Der Matossian, Associate Professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present a lecture at the Zohrab Information Center entitled, The Political Culture of the Young Turk Revolution of 1908: Space Symbolism, and Language on Thursday, May 5, 2106 at 7PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York.
The Young Turk Revolution of July 24, 1908 brought jubilation to Istanbul and other cities across the Ottoman Empire. Turks and other ethnic groups shared in the festivities that heralded the demise of the old regime and the inauguration of what was to have been a new and hopeful era. To build consensus among the various ethnic groups, the Young Turks introduced new social and political definitions, new symbols, and new rituals.
Professor Der Matossian will analyze the revolutionary rituals of these festivities from the perspective of space, symbolism and language as he explores the Young Turks’ attempts to create a new civil religion that would provide solidarity and emphasize oneness rather than distinction.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Dr. Der Matossian is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he began his graduate studies. He completed his PhD in Middle East History at Columbia University in 2008. His areas of interest include ethnic politics in the Middle East, inter-ethnic violence in the Ottoman Empire, Palestinian history, and the history of the Armenian Genocide.
He has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. The recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, he is the author of dozens of published articles and digital projects. His book, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire, was published by Stanford University Press in 2014.
The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 686-0710.
A new book by Krikor Pidedjian entitled, Հայ Եկեղեցւոյ Երաժշտութիւնը / The Music of the Armenian Church: An Historical Survey, will be presented at the Zohrab Center this Thursday, April 7 at 7:00PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York.
Mr. Pidedjian, an accomplished composer, choral conductor and musicologist specializing in the history, theory and repertoire of Armenian sacred and secular music, has received awards and commendations internationally for his artistic and scholarly contributions. Most recently, he was recognized by the faculty of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, where he has lectured frequently. In 2008 His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II awarded him the St. Nersess the Graceful medal for outstanding service to the Armenian Church.
The new book, written primarily in Armenian includes an extensive summary in English and is profusely illustrated with musical examples. The book has been published by the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern).
Presenting the book will be Deacon Rubik Mailian, Director of of Sacred Music and Pastoral Assistant at St. John’s Armenian Church (Southfield, Michigan). Deacon Mailian will speak in English before Mr. Pidedjian makes remarks in Armenian.
Krikor Pidedjian was born into a musical family in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied in the Seminary of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, where, concurrent with studies at the Beirut Conservatory, he directed the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral Choir. He received a B.S. from the Mannes School of Music and M.A. from Hunter College, both in New York.He is the founder of numerous choirs and ensembles which, under his direction, have performed Armenian sacred and popular music on stages throughout the world. He has lectured internationally on Armenian music and published extensively. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his musical and scholarly work, most recently by the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan.
The book presentation is free and open to the public. Copies of Mr. Pidedjian’s book will be available for purchase. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Information Center at email@example.com or (212) 686-0710.