Dr. Abraham Terian, Academic Dean and Professor of Armenian Patristics, has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, the most prestigious appointment in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Terian is one of approximately 850 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 150 countries this year through the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Terian will spend the Spring 2006 semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he will carry out a program of lecturing and research.
"For me, receiving this award is to come full circle in my career," said Terian. "I began my studies as a young boy in the Holy Translators' (Tarkmanchats) School in Jerusalem, and now I am returning to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a Fulbright Scholar," he said.
Born in Jaffa, Israel, he grew up in the Armenian compound of the St. James Monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem, where he received his early education. For six years he was a professional tour-guide throughout the Holy land. He then moved with his wife and infant son to the United States, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, Biblical languages and archaeology, before earning his doctorate in theology from the University of Basel, Switzerland, specializing in Early Christianity and its Jewish and Hellenistic backgrounds.
The Fulbright Program is America's flagship international educational exchange activity. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator William J. Fulbright of Arkansas, the program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Its purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
Candidates for the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities must have the academic rank of full professor, substantial teaching experience and a prominent record of scholarly accomplishment.
Terian was selected for this honor from among a large pool of highly-qualified candidates by the Fulbright Scholarship Board, which is appointed by the President of the United States.
Before coming to St. Nersess Seminary in 1997, Dr. Terian was Professor of Intertestamental and Early Christian Literatures for 20 years at Andrews University in Michigan, and for four years a recurring Visiting Professor for both Classical Armenian and Hellenistic Judaism at the University of Chicago. Accompanying his wife, Dr. Sara Terian to Sterling College, Kansas in 1993, he was appointed Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Chair of the Humanities Division.
Terian was Chair of the Hellenistic Judaism Group of the Society for Biblical Literature and President of the Society's Midwest Region. He has also served as Secretary of the Society for Armenian Studies and continues to serve on the editorial boards of several scholarly periodicals.
His publications include more than 60 articles in historical, philological and literary journals and monographs. He has 3 books on the first-century Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria: (1)Philonis Alexanrini de Animalibus: The Armenian Text with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary; (2)Alexander, e versione armeniaca; and (3) Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum, e versione armeniaca et fragmenta graeca. The latter two are published in the renowned French series, ditions du Cerf. His most recent book, Patriotism and Piety in Armenian Christianity: The Early Panegyrics on St. Gregory the Illuminator, was published last year in St. Nersess Seminary's AVANT Series.
Currently Professor Terian is working on a commentary on the first book in Armenian with known authorship, Koriwn's 'Life of Mashtots,' which he has translated into English. He has also just completed a book on the Letter of Makarios to the Armenians, considered the earliest document bearing on the history of the Armenian Church.
"All of us at St. Nersess beam in pride at this latest achievment of Dr. Abraham Terian," said Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Seminary Dean. "To have such an internationally recognized scholar devoting his life to the training and education of our future clergy and lay leaders is a source of great satisfaction, for which the entire Armenian Church is rightfully proud."