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ASP Public Lecture. "Gregory of Narek and the Narekian Fathers: The Mystery of Love from the Commentary of Song of Songs to the Book of Lamentations"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
12:00 AM
1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Manoogian Foundation post-doctoral fellow Levon Petrosyan received his Pd.D. in history from the University of Paris and Pd.D. in Theology from St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute of Paris in 2008 and 2006 respectively. In 2010 his Pd.D. dissertation titled “Grégoire de Narek. Commentaire sur le Cantique des cantiques” (“Gregory of Narek. Commentary on the Song of Songs”) was published in Rome. His areas of research interest include Armenian literature, history of Armenia and the Armenian Church, and intercultural and interreligious dialog. Dr. Petrosyan is teaching a course in winter 2012 on Armenian Christianity.
This lecture will examine the life, poetry and theological school of Gregory of Narek, also known as the Armenian medieval author Xth c. Gregory of Narek spent his life in the Monastry of Narek with his father Bishop Xosrov and his teacher Abbot Anania. These three authors form the School of Narek, a particular spiritual and theological school in the vein of the philokalic spirituality. At a young age Gregory of Narek prepared a Commentary on the Song of Songs which considerably influenced his teaching method. He became a singer of the Divine Love, erotic and agapic at the same time, and he taught people the Sacramental way of its Consumption. Over the years, the poetic style of Gregory of Narek achieved a high level of perfection and he presented his Book of Lamentation as a speech of the Bride to her beloved Groom, a soul’s discourse to God. If the Divine Love is the poetic muse of Gregory of Narek, the discourse with God is the expression of his deep feelings for Him: Love should be always confessed!