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AVANT: Treasures of the Armenian Christian Tradition

St. Nersess Seminary’s AVANT series comprises book-length studies intended to bring to light the riches of the Armenian Christian heritage as reflected in her patristic, dogmatic, liturgical and other early religious literature. These spiritual treasures are presented in English translation with commentary. The series seeks to reveal the distinct Christian witness of Armenian Christianity. The series was launched in 1998, in anticipation of the 17th Centenary of the Christianization of Armenia by St. Gregory the Illuminator (301-2001AD).

AVANT is published by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in collaboration with St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, which coordinates production, marketing, distribution and sales. These volumes are in short supply. To order, click the links below.

AVANT 1 (2001)

The Teaching of Saint Gregory, revised edition.

Robert W. Thomson

The Teaching of Saint Gregory is part of the Armenian History by the unknown author known as Agat‘angelos. The Teaching is presented as a sermon to the Armenian court giving the essential content of the Christian gospel. In its present form, however, it is a literary composition of the late-fifth century. Its great importance is that it was recognized by later generations as the core of Armenian Christian teaching. Professor Thomson has thorougly revised his translation and commentary from its first publication in 1970.

To order your copy of 
The Teaching of Saint Gregory, please email

AVANT 2 (2005)

Patriotism and Piety in Armenian Christianity: The Early Panegyrics on Saint Gregory

Abraham Terian 

Armenian Christianity manifests a unique blend of patriotism and piety. Beginning from the inception of Armenian letters at the turn of the fifth century, Professor Terian surveys that blend in ancient Armenian sources spanning a thousand years. He shows how the theme finds its fullest manifestation as a literary motif in the medieval panegyrics (praise literature) dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator. Also included are translations of selections of thirteen of these odes and panegyrics, as well as a complete translation of the long Panegyric of Yovhannes Erznkats‘i.

To order your copy of Patriotism and Piety in Armenian Christianity CLICK HERE

AVANT 3 (2006)

Worship Traditions in Armenia and the Neighboring Christian East. An International Symposium in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary 

R. R. Ervine, Ed

The worship of the Armenians and their Christian neighbors—Byzantine, and East and West Syrian—conserved and transmitted through liturgy, remains as a vital link to their heritage, and this collection provides the key to the heart of the Christian East. The voices captured in the pages of this book originate from a symposium held in honor of St Nersess Seminary’s 40th anniversary, where a panoply of scholars currently working in the field of Eastern liturgy shared the fruits of their work.

To order your copy of Worship Traditions in Armenia and the Neighboring Christian East CLICK HERE

AVANT 4 (2008)

Marcarius of Jerusalem Letter to the Armenians AD 355

Abraham Terian

Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem in the early fourth century, was commissioned by Emperor Constantine to oversee the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. While host to a large gathering of bishops “from every city” (presumably for the dedication of the Constantinian edifice), Macarius draws on local tradition in his response to queries by the nascent Armenian Church regarding baptism and the Eucharist. His Letter to the Armenians, addressed to Vrt’anes, elder son and second successor to St. Gregory the Illuminator as head of the Armenian Church, reveals much about the nature of pre-Nicene Armenian Christianity and its affinities with East Syrian baptismal and eucharistic traditions thought to stand in need of reform.

Terian’s study of Macarius’ Letter to the Armenians goes far beyond establishing the date of this earliest document bearing on the history of the Armenian Church. It highlights the document’s place in the baptismal and eucharistic liturgy of Jerusalem prior to St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Lectures and the travel diary of the nun Egeria later in the fourth century. Surviving only in Armenian, it is of great importance for the history of the early church in Armenia, when ritual observances had not yet been codified.

To order your copy of Macarius of Jerusalem: Letter to the Armenians (335 ADCLICK HERE