Join the St. Nersess seminarians on a trek through "virgin territory" on Tuesday evenings beginning September 13, 2005 .
Dr. Roberta Ervine, Associate Professor of Armenian Studies, will teach an unprecedented course entitled, The Blessing of Blessings: Armenian Tradition and the Song of Songs.
The Song of Songs is one of the more enigmatic books of the Old Testament. Attributed to King Solomon (but probably written much later, around the 3rd century BC), the book is a collection of love poems, many of them containing startlingly erotic images. Since ancient times Jewish and Christian interpreters struggled to find the theological key to this unique book of Scripture. Christian theologians have tended to see in it an illustration of God's profound love for his church, and, by extension, for each individual Christian.
Though little known today, for centuries the Song of Songs captivated the imagination of the great teachers and theologians of the Armenian Church. A rich tradition of Armenian commentaries on the book survives, in which our forefathers set out to find the significance behind the rich imagery of the Songs: grooms and brides; pomegranates and apples; flagons of wine and perfumed couches.
In her now well-known, captivating style, Dr. Roberta Ervine will invite students to explore these and many other questions via close examination of a challenging book of the Bible, seen through the eyes of the Armenian Church's great thinkers. Students enrolling in this St. Nersess course should come prepared to exercise their intuition and imagination as they delve into Armenian commentaries on the Song of Songs. These texts, virtually unknown today, will be made available for the first time in English translation for students of this course.
Prof. Ervine received her doctorate in Armenian Studies from Columbia University. Before coming to St. Nersess in 2001 she gained extensive teaching experience at all levels. She lived in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem for nearly 25 years. From 1995-2001 she was at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she taught a wide spectrum of courses in Armenian Studies and developed graduate and undergraduate curricula. Dr. Ervine is the author of several books and scholarly articles.
The course will take place at the Seminary in New Rochelle, New York on Tuesday evenings from 7-9PM beginning on September 13, 2005. It is open to all interested. The fee for those auditing the course is $100, payable on the first day of class. For further information, contact the Seminary at firstname.lastname@example.org.