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Seminary Welcomes New Faculty Member

Seminary Welcomes New Faculty Member

This fall semester, the seminary welcomed Dr. Ani Shahinian, who will serve as an assistant professor of the Grace and Paul Shahinian Lectureship in Armenian Christian Art and Culture. Her position is being fully funded by Mr. Dean Shahinian, Esq, of Virginia. She recently completed her doctoral thesis on Christian Martyrdom at Oxford University, and has begun teaching at the seminary, including a lecture series open to the public by Zoom, with Dr. Roberta Ervine on Thursday evenings on The Theology of Armenian Church Architecture.

Ms. Shahinian also holds an M.A. degree in Near Eastern and Languages and Cultures – Armenian Studies from UCLA, and graduate certificates in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Oxford. She received her B.A. in Philosophy, Ethics, and Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Prior to her doctoral and graduate studies,

Ani worked at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), assisting with investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking cases and criminal civil rights abuses. While working at the DOJ, she detected parallels between contemporary and historic human rights violations. Her career at the DOJ connected her journey of investigation and discovery of her identity as an Orthodox Christian Armenian-American with her research interests in the field of Eastern Christian Studies.

Last week, Dr. Shahinian presented at the Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Lilly Foundation, the lecture was entitled, “The Life of a Medieval Armenian Manuscript: The Transmission of Sacred Texts Across Space, Time, and Communities.

The Library of Congress holds in its collection a medieval Armenian manuscript, originally copied in Jerusalem in 1321 A.D. at the Armenian monastery of Holy Archangels by a scribe named Nerses Abegha. This is the oldest Armenian manuscript held at the Library. It was donated by Dr. Henry Foster from Clifton Springs, New York. This manuscript tells the fascinating story of the transmission of not only the treasures of the manuscript itself but the unique connections across socio-political and inter-religious cultures, and across space and time. The lecture will be published on the Library of Congress’s website and will be made available in the coming weeks.