St. Nersess Theological Review
Volume 1, Number 2 - July, 1996
Proceedings of the Armenian Church Patristics Symposium October 18, 1995
Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center
Surpassing the Biblical Worthies: An Early Motif in Armenian Religious Literature
Abraham Terian (117-144)
After Armenia’s conversion to Christianity, Armenian historians and theologians of the fourth and the fifth centuries began to portray their religious leaders and national heroes by comparison with biblical figures and events. Examples of this trend can be seen in the works of writers like Koriwn, Agat‘angełos, Ełišē, and Movsēs Xorenac‘i. The main concern of the Armenian historians was to show that the new Christian nation was in continuity with Biblical Israel, and was ready for martyrdom for the sake of Christ.
The Armenian Literary Corpus Attributed to Ephrem the Syrian: Prologomena to a Project
Edward G. Matthews, Jr. (145-168)
The Armenian translations of the works of St. Ephrem the Syrian are numerous. While no definitive listing of Armenian manuscripts containing works attributed to St. Ephrem yet exist, they may however be categorized under five headings: prayers, homilies, hymns, commentaries, and biographical material. Although not all the works attributed to St. Ephrem in Armenian have yet been examined, it appears that many of the translations do not correspond to the style of St. Ephrem. The hymns and some of the commentaries are found to be more authentic than the prayers, homilies, and biographical materials attributed to him.
Notes on Eznik of Kolb's Discussion of the Incarnation
Robin Darling Young (169-180)
Eznik’s doctrine of the incarnation as expressed in his work “Against the Sects” is examined. The treatise, which contains polemics against the pagans, the Persians, Greek pantheism, and Marcion, contains terminology that is different from that found in his other writings. The author finds Eznik to be one of the pillars of fifth-century Armenia’s understanding of the nature and person of Christ.
Gregory of Tat 'ew and his New Version of his Commentary on the Psalms
PRESENTED AT THE ORIENTAL AND EASTER ORTHODOX SYMPOSIUM:
"Christ in Worship"
March 12, 1996
Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and
St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Liturgical Usages and Controversy in History: How Much Diversity can Unity Tolerate?
Michael Daniel Findikyan (191-211)
Disputes between churches regarding differences in liturgical usage were often the result of doctrinal differences. Political factors and ignorance of others’ traditions also resulted in a vast archive of invective in many traditions. The author cites numerous examples of benign variations in liturgical practice that were, and sometimes continue, however, to be interpreted as representing fundamental differences in dogma. Objective, irenic, historical study of the liturgy is the only way to evaluate the significance of differences in liturgical practice between one tradition and another. In many cases, such diversity does not represent an obstacle to ecumenical rapprochement.
Origins of the Eastern Liturgies
Paul Meyendorff (213-221)
The author presents a survey of the origin of the extant liturgical rites of Eastern Christendom: the East and West Syrian, Maronite, Coptic, Ethiopian, Byzantine and Armenian traditions. The factors that contributed to their development and evolution are discussed within the context of four historical phases of liturgical development: the initial period of formation in the first three centuries, the period of extension and development, the reformation, and the modern era.
"Parish Ethics" and the Teaching of Jesus
John Breck (223-231)
The relationships among religious authorities themselves, their relationship with their parish, and the inter-relationships among parish members must all be based on the foundation of Christ’s teaching if they are not to be utterly vain and hypocritical. Hypocrisy is the most deadly virus that attacks and destroys the unity of the church. It is overcome only by Christian love.
Curriculum of Educating Infants who are Called into the Rank of Priesthood:
Necessary and Useful Advice Written by Lord Arak'el, Bishop of Siwnik and
Grigor of Tat'ew, the Great Rhetor
Arakel Aljalian, Simeon Odabashian and Hratch Tchilingirian (233-245)
A curriculum composed by two bishops of the Armenian Church in the second half of the fourteenth, and the first half of the fifteenth centuries is presented in English translation. It is written to assist parents in raising and educating their children, especially those who have a calling to the priesthood. Founded upon faith in Christ and his teaching, the curriculum is divided into three stages: childhood, adulthood and manhood. Each stage comprises ten steps of religious education and spiritual growth leading to ordination at age thirty.
Abp. Khajag Barsamian, The Calendar of the Armenian Church
(New York: St. Vartan Press, 1995) [Arten Ashjian]
Abp. Mesrob Ashjian, Armenian Church Patristic and Other Essays
(New York: The Armenian Prelacy, 1994) [Abraham Terian]
Fr. Krikor Vardapet Maksoudian, Chosen of God:
The Election of the Catholicos of All Armenians from the Fourth Century to the Present
(New York: St. Vartan Press, 1995) [Robert H. Hewsen]