Confessionalization and Reform: The Mkhit‘arist Enterprise from Constantinople to Venice, Trieste, and Vienna

A Conference in memory of Father Sahak Djemjemian and on the Occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Congregation in Venice.

Saturday, December 16, 2017 to Sunday, December 17, 2017

UCLA Faculty Center, California Room

Over the last few decades, historians have come to refer to the period from the Protestant Reformation in Europe to the late seventeenth century as the era of “confessionalization.” Confessionalization has come to be understood as a global process marking the birth of early modern religious revival and reform movements that affected societies, states, and cultures across
Eurasia, including in the Ottoman and Safavid empires. This conference seeks to place the birth of the Mkhit‘arist congregation of erudite Catholic-Armenian missionaries and monks within the larger wave of confessionalization that was sweeping the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean in the late seventeenth century. Bringing together an international cast of scholars, the conference commemorates the 300th anniversary of the establishment of Abbot Mkhit‘ar’s reformist order on
the island of San Lazzaro in the Venetian lagoon. Scholars will explore and analyze the pivotal role played by this Order in the remaking of early modern Armenian confessional and national identity through their interventions in print culture, Armenology, Armenian lexicography, grammar, and literary translation.

 

Conference Program

 
Saturday, December 16th

9:20-10:00am - Opening Remarks
Welcome Address: His Excellency Archbishop Levon Zekiyan
Conference Introduction: Sebouh David Aslanian: “Mkhit‘ar and His Flock in the ‘Age of
Confessionalization’”

10:00-11:30am - Panel 1: Confessionalism, ‘Communicatio in Sacris,’ and the Mkhit‘arist Congregation

• Paulo Lucca (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia): “Neither Fowl nor Fish? The Venice Branch of the
Mkhit‘arists and the Roman Hierarchy in the Early Nineteenth Century”
• Cesare Santus (École française de Rome): “Mkhit‘ar’s Doubts: The Problem of ‘Communicatio in
Sacris’ among the Armenian Catholics in the Ottoman Empire.”
• Benedetta Contin (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia): “Mkhit‘ar and the Armenian Catholic
Patriarchate during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: The Challenge of Mkhitarist
Ecumenism”

11:30-11:45am: Break

11:45am-1:15pm - Panel 2: Mkhit‘ar Sebastats‘i, Rome, and Print Culture: Eighteenth-Century Confessionalization in a Diaspora

• Raymond Kévorkian (Paris): “The Origins of the Editorial Vocation of Mkhit‘ar Sebastats‘i”
• Jesse Arlen (UCLA): “‘In Creation of Readerly Taste’: Paratextuality in the ‘Publishing Mission’ of
Mkhit‘ar of Sebastia”
• Anna Sirinian (University of Bologna): “The Birth and the Early Years of Bazmavep

1:15-2:45pm: Lunch for Presenters

2:45-4:15pm - Panel 3: The Mkhit‘arists in the East: Trieste, Vienna, and Transylvania

• Sebouh David Aslanian (UCLA): “The Great Schism of 1773: Venice and the Creation of the
Armenian Community of Trieste”
• Meline Pehlivanian (Berlin): “The Mkhit‘arists’ Vienna Branch and the Advent of GermanSpeaking
Armenology”
• Bálint Kovács (Leipzig University): “The Mkhit‘arist Missions in Transylvania”

7:30-8:30pm: Reception for Presenters
(Sponsored by NAASR)

8:30-10:30pm (Bridges Theater, UCLA)

Keynote Address (in Armenian)

• Krikor Beledian: “Մխիթարեան աւանդութիւնը եւ արեւմտահայ բանաստեղծութիւնը” (The Mkhit‘arist
Tradition and Western Armenian Poetics)
• Hakop Papazyan (director) and Nver Mnatsakanyan (producer) screening of Documentary on
Oscan Yerevants‘i

Sunday, December 17th

3:00-4:30pm - Panel 4: The Mkhit‘arist Congregation During Its Nineteenth-Century Heyday

• S. Peter Cowe (UCLA): “Beauty, Nobility, and Harmony: The Mkhit‘arist Aesthetic in Relation
to Ethics and Politics, the Impact of this Nexus on the Western Armenian Awakening, and its
Place in Eighteenth-Nineteenth-Century Intellectual History”
• Hagop Gulludjian (UCLA): “The Mkhit‘arist Project and Lessons on Language Revitalization”
• Reverend Vahan Ohanian (San Lazzaro): “Հայր Ղեւոնդ Ալիշանը իր նամակներու լուսարձակին տակ”
(Father Ghevond Alishan in Light of His Correspondence)

4:30-5:30pm - Panel 5: The Mkhit‘arist Manuscript Collection and the Legacy of the Order during the Twentieth Century
• Gevork Ter Vardanian: “Մխիթարեանց Վենետիկի ձեռագրական հաւաքածուի կազմաւորումը եւ գիտական
մշակումը” (The Formation of the Manuscript Collection of the Mkhit‘arists in Venice and Its
Scholarly Development)
• Agop Manoukian (Venice and Milan): “The Mkhit‘arist Presence in Milan c. 1923-1933 and the
Emerging Armenian Community of Italy”

7:30-8:30pm Reception for Presenters
(Sponsored by NAASR)
8:30-10:30pm (Bridges Theater, UCLA)
(Light Refreshments)

Keynote Address (in Armenian)
• Marc Nichanian: “1810-1820: հրաշալի տասնամեակ մը» (1810-1820: An Astonishing Decade)
• Hakop Papazyan (director) and Nver Mnatsakanyan (producer) screening of documentary on
Mkhit‘ar Sebastats‘i


Cost : Open to the public




Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, The Richard Hovannisian Chair of Modern Armenian History at UCLA, Narekats‘i Chair of Armenian Studies (UCLA), National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), USC Armenian Studies Institute