Sex, the Scriptures and St. Gregory of Narek. Presentation by Prof. Roberta Ervine Tuesday, November 3

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Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, returns to the Zohrab Center on Tuesday, November 3 at 7PM to explore yet another facet of Armenian Christian culture and thought. The title of her presentation is Sex in the Scriptures: The Commentary on the Song of Songs by St. Gregory of Narek.

It may come as a surprise to many that the Holy Bible contains a book of erotic love poems. The Old Testament work known as The Song of Songs is overlooked and even avoided by some today due to its graphic sexual imagery and dubious meaning. Yet the cycle of poems was the object of intrigue and intense study by the early church fathers East and West, including the great 10th-century Armenian mystic, St. Gregory of Narek.

2015-10 BlessingBlessingsCoverProfessor Ervine will present her recent English translation of St. Gregory’s commentary on the Song of Songs and show how the monk from the southern shore of Lake Van dares us to rethink how we imagine God, love, sex and the divine intimacy into which he invites his creatures.

The presentation will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd Avenue, New York, and is free and open to the public. A wine and cheese reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at or (212) 686-0710.

2015-11 ErvineSongofSongs.001CLICK HERE to download a flyer.

ZICErvineRoberta Ervine is an internationally recognized expert on Armenian theological writings and culture, with a particular interest in Cilician-era authors and the history of Armenian Jerusalem. She has published widely and lectured throughout the world, including regular engagements at the Zohrab Center. Dr. Ervine earned her Ph.D. in Armenian Studies from Columbia University, a student of Nina Garsoïan. From there for nearly 25 years she lived, studied and taught within the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem as a disciple of the late Archbishop Norayr Bogharian, who was renowned as one of the twentieth century’s leading authorities on classical Armenian literature. Her most recent book, The Blessing of Blessings: Gregory of Narek’s Commentary on the Song of Songs, was published by Cistercian Press.