PhD Candidate Returns to the Seminary
During the Fall of 2019, St. Nersess Seminary opened its doors to PhD students who were seeking to take classes at the seminary to support their research and advanced degrees at other institutions. One of these students is Ani Shahinian, an Oxford PhD candidate, who traveled to St. Nersess for a month to receive assistance in reading, translating, and interpreting medieval texts in Classical Armenian from Dr. Roberta Ervine. Her time at the seminary was an important piece of her doctoral thesis on Christian Martyrdom. She also took various classes at both St. Nersess and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminaries.
Ani returned to St. Nersess last week for a short time as she completes her doctoral dissertation. “Now, having reached the finish line of my Ph.D., there is really no other way I wanted to seal the journey but to be at St. Nersess for a time of reflection, contemplation, and rest. My time has been enriched by one-on-one mentorship and continued tutorials with Dr. Roberta Ervine. She has invested in me over the years via Zoom and FaceTime. I was eager to visit the seminary in person and have quality time with the community. My conversations with the seminarians and staff have been enriching and encouraging,” reflected Ani. Earlier this week, Ani offered an introductory lecture to the public on the psychology, history, faith, and impact of Armenian martyrdom, with plans to offer a formal course on this subject in the future. Ani is one of the world’s rare specialists in Armenian martyr texts, using them as a lens to look at broader issues such as the phenomenon of choice and the Armenian understanding of virtue.