We invite you to watch the following recorded public lectures on YouTube. You can watch a single lecture or the entire series. Simply click on the box to open up the video selection.
Spring 2023: An Introduction to Medieval Armenian Poetry Part II
Fall 2022: An Introduction to Medieval Armenian Poetry Part I
October 20 – December 8, 2022
with Dr. Jesse Siragan Arlen
After the invention of the Armenian alphabet in the fifth century, the early centuries of Armenian literature are dominated by prose: theological and philosophical treatises, histories, hagiographies, commentaries, and the like. Nevertheless, the premodern Armenian literary tradition also boasts a vast and dazzling array of poetic texts, which are generally less well known to scholars and novices alike. This two-semester public lecture series will introduce the medieval Armenian poetic tradition, including sharagans, odes, lyrics, laments, poetic prayers, as well as love and wisdom poetry. This vast array of material spanning over ten centuries was composed both in the classical literary idiom as well as a form of the language closer to the vernacular, known as middle Armenian. Attention will also be paid to interchange and contact with neighboring literary and poetic traditions, such as Greek, Persian, and Arabic.
Fall 2022: A Short Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew Part I
September 1 – October 6, 2022
with Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, PhD
The course explores the first Gospel in the books of the New Testament attributed to the apostle Matthew. We initially discuss issues related to the authorship, dating and intended recipients of the Gospel. We shed light on the use of the Gospel of Matthew in the Armenian Church. Exploring the structure of the Gospel as well as its relationship with the other Gospels if any, is next. Next, we examine the stories unique to the Gospel of Matthew which will help us understand the focus of the author and the way he interpreted certain events. The rest of the course is committed to examining key theological issues developed in the Gospel.
Introduction to Psychology, History, Faith and Impact of Armenian Martyrdom
Pop-up Lecture on October 24, 2022
with Ani Shahinian
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.
There has recently been renewed interested in Armenian martyrs within the wider church. In 2015-2016 Pope Francis spoke of “the eloquent and holy sign of martyrdom, which has constantly accompanied the history of your [Armenian] people.” A future course on the psychology, history, faith, and impact of Armenian Martyrdom is in the planning stages.
Spring 2022: An Overview of the Armenian Historical Tradition: 11th to 18th Centuries
This two-part lecture series introduces the audience to the Armenian historical tradition, a rich and fascinating corpus of literature with texts produced continuously from the first century after the invention of the alphabet up until the modern period.
Dr. Jesse Arlen looks at histories beginning in the eleventh century, which respond to the Seljuk invasions and the many changes brought to Armenian life, and proceeds up until the early modern period, when travel accounts covered the various diasporic and merchant colonies that were now spread across the globe.
January 20, 2022
Lecture 1: Responding to Calamity:
Aristakes of Lastivert and Matthew of Edessa
January 27, 2022
Lecture 2: The Medieval Chronicle:
The Rise of a New (Old) Genre (Matthew of Edessa, Hetum & Smbat)
February 3, 2022
Lecture 3: Encounters and Engagements with Mongols:
Vardan Areweltsi & Kirakos of Ganjak
February 10, 2022
Lecture 4: Spiritual Consolation in a Time of Torment:
Grigor Akants, Stephen Orbelean, Tovma Metsop
February 17, 2022
Lecture 5: Historiography in the Early Modern World and Beyon: Arakel of Tabriz & Simeon of Poland
Fall 2021 Part 1: A Slow Transition to Cilicia: The Armenian Church from the 11th to 13th Centuries
Part I is a 4-lecture series presented by Prof. Roberta Ervine
September 16, 2021
September 23, 2021
September 30, 2021
October 7, 2021
Fall 2021 Part 2: An Introduction to the Classical and Medieval Armenian Histories
Part II is a 6-lecture series presented by Dr. Jesse Arlen
October 14, 2021
Lecture 1: Movses of Khoren and an Overview of the Armenian Historical Tradition
The opening lecture of this series will provide an overview of the Armenian historical tradition and the different ways it has been approached in the modern period. The History of Armenia by Movses Khorenatsi will serve as a test case of various approaches to the Armenian histories and some of the difficulties involved in interpreting them, given our modern assumptions about the nature of history writing. Participants will also be provided with bibliography and resources to aid them in their study of the Armenian historical tradition.
October 21, 2021
Lecture 2: The Conversion and Early History of Christian Armenia
This lecture will consider the History of Armenia by Agathangelos, which tells of the conversion of the Armenian realm to Christianity, and the Epic Histories of Pawstos Buzand, which treats the tumultuous events of the fourth century, from the accession of Trdat the Great’s son and successor, Khosrov Kotak, up to the partition of Armenia between Byzantium and Sasanian Iran in 387 AD.
October 28, 2021
Lecture 3: Narrating the Religious Struggles with Zoroastrian Iran
This lecture considers the two histories that treat the struggle of the Armenian Christian noble lords Sasanian Iran in its attempt to impose Zoroastrianism in Armenia, including the Battle of Avarayr and its aftermath. Special attention will be paid to the different emphases of the two authors.
November 4, 2021
Lecture 4: Early Engagements with Islam
This lecture will introduce students to the histories of Sebeos and Ghewond. Sebeos covers the end of Sasanian rule over Armenia and the extended wars between the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, before covering the early Arab/Muslim expansions and the treaty arranged between this new Middle Eastern power and Armenia. Ghewond’s history begins with the death of Muhammad and continues into the late eighth century, covering the series of revolts of the Armenian lords against caliphal rule, and the attempts of the caliphate to increasingly integrate Armenia into its structure.
November 11, 2021
Lecture 5: Regional Histories
The late ninth to eleventh centuries was a fecund period for the writing of histories. This lecture considers two histories from the period that are concerned largely with narrating the history of specific regions of the greater Armenian commonwealth. The first, Tovma Artsruni’s History of the House of the Artsrunik, is a universal history from prehistoric beginnings up until the tenth century, with a focus on southern Armenia (Vaspurakan) and the Artsruni house that came to dominate the region in the ninth and tenth centuries. The second, Movses of Daskhuran’s History of Caucasian Albania, likewise stretches from creation and the beginning of the world to the tenth century, focusing on the history of the Caucasian Albanians, a Christian people whose history was intertwined with Armenia, especially after the Christianization of the two realms in the fourth century.
November 18, 2021
Lecture 6: Looking back at the End of the First Millenium
This lecture considers three further histories of the tenth to early eleventh centuries, each of which is concerned as much with the ancient and medieval past as with the time in which they were written, and whose narratives stretch from the creation of the world up to the time in which the authors lived and wrote: the History of Armenia of Catholicos Yovhannes of Draskhanakert, the History of Armenia of Ukhtanes of Sebasteia, and the Universal History of Stepanos of Taron.
Spring 2021: Uncertain States: The Armenian Church from the 8th to 11th Centuries
This 8-week course is presented by Pror. Roberta Ervine.
February 4, 2021
Lecture 1: The 8th Century Background
February 18, 2021
Lecture 2: The End of the Beginning
February 25, 2021
Lecture 3: Monotheisms and the Arts
March 4, 2021
Lecture 4: Reshaping Armenian Christian Identity
March 11, 2021
Lecture 5: Armenians as Emperors and Kings
March 18, 2021
Lecture 6: New Paradigms of Holiness
March 25, 2021
Lecture 7: The Devolution of Armenian Self-rule
April 8, 2021
Lecture 8: The Moving On and Moving Out
Fall 2020: No Other Foundation: The Armenian Church’s Early Centuries
This 8-week course was team-taught by Dr. Roberta Ervine and Sdn. Andrew Kayaian. Participants explored issues that faced Armenia’s nascent Christianity, the situations and people that drove those issues, and the solutions attempted by the Church’s first hierarchs.
October 1, 2020
October 8, 2020
October 15, 2020
October 22, 2020
October 29, 2020
November 5, 2020
November 12, 2020
November 19, 2020
June 2020: Mini-Semester Lecture Series: Bishops on Worship
St. Nersess offered a “mini-semester” with a series of course offerings for the general public and clergy .
The Holy Bible in the Armenian Church
Bp Vahan Hovhanessian
Biblical Teachings & Practices in Today’s Badarak
Bp Vahan Hovhanessian
The Psalms in Worship
Bp Daniel Findikyan
Communion in Quarantine
Bp Daniel Findikyan