For the past five years, Intensive Week has been held each semester to give our students an opportunity to dive deeper into different subjects not covered in the standard curriculum. This semester, during the week of March 20-24, Ani Shahinyan, PhD, presented a series of lectures on The Introduction to Apologetics for Contemporary Armenian Christians to the seminarians and clergy who joined on Zoom.
At the heart of the Christian faith is the call to be prepared to respond to the questions of our time (1 Peter 3:15; Philippians 1:7, 16). Dr. Shahinian proposed that the most important apologetic question for our culture today is the problem of evil and suffering. Why does God allow evil to take place? Why do human beings suffer and die? Looking at works from antiquity to the modern period, Dr. Shahinian highlighted Eznik Kołbac‘i’s and Grigor Tat‘ewac‘i’s explanation of how evil is not a being, but an adjective that is attached to human agency. Together, they distinguished physical evils from moral evils, and looked at the theodicy of human free will «Անձնիշխանութիւն» and the suffering of Christ to gain insight into this prevalent question that is close to all our hearts.