Hran Dink Foundation published a book

A Historic Publication : The Catholicosate of Cilicia - History, Mission, Treasures

 The Catholicosate of Cilicia - History, Mission, Treasures Editor, Co-Author Seta B. Dadoyan. Antelias, Lebanon: Catholicosate Publications, 2015. [Hard cover, (32x24.5 cms) 400 pages ISBN

 This massive, luxurious and comprehensive volume was completed at the beginning of April 2015, very shortly before the Centenary of the Genocide on the 24th. On 400 large-set pages it has over 15 articles and almost 600 high quality illustrations. A historic publication indeed.

 “As the title indicates,” writes in the “Preface” His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, “this volume outlines the significant aspects and major events in the history, spiritual heritage and mission of the Armenian Church, in general, and the Catholicosate of Cilicia in particular. Indeed, undertaking a multi-dimensional and broadly scoped project of this sort is not easy. It requires dedication and hard work. It also entails a long process of consultation and research.”

 On the occasion of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, His Holiness dedicates the volume to the blessed memory of the eight Catholicoi of Cilicia at Antelias (as of 1930): Sahag II Khabayan, Papken I Gulesserian, Bedros IV Sarajian, Karekin I Hovsepiants, Zareh I Payaslian, Khoren I Paroyan, and Karekin II Sarkissian. “Following the Genocide, these great men played a crucial role in the reorganization of the Armenian Communities in Diaspora and in the pursuit of the Armenian Cause.”

 The volume marks two centenaries, but not by coincidence: the Genocide in 1915, and within the same year and as part of it, the forced evacuation of the Armenian Catholicosate from its headquarters in Sis/Kozan, the capital of Armenian Cilicia. It had moved there in 1292/3 after the Mamluk invasions and the destruction of its premises on the peninsula of Hromkla on the River Euphrates. Previously, in 1045, following the fall of the Pakraduni Kingdom to Byzntium, this institution was forced to leave the capital Ani. It settled in the region of Cilicia. Circumstances in south eastern Asia Minor were very different from the north east, and the Armenians there developed a rich national and at the same time Near Eastern culture, which stood out by its ecumenism and spirit of renovation. The Catholicosate of Cilicia is the continuator of this legacy.

 Recording the millennial history of the Armenian Catholicosate and the Armenians, according to the editor Prof. Seta B. Dadoyan, this massive volume is a historical work in the contemporary understanding of history: it considers historical knowledge embedded in the service of human interests. Armenians have an interest in knowing and communicating the history of their Church and Catholicosate, because such interest is essential for the preservation of their identity, and their persistence worldwide. The past and the future do not actually exist, but they are part of the present, and must be brought into it and be made present.

 As the cover of the volume (designed by the editor) depicts, Antelias and Sis are one, they are the past, the present and the future. This is the existential dimension of the volume. ‘’With a wide readership in mind”, writes the editor in her “Word”, “the primary objective of this ambitious initiative is to conjure up the dynamic evolution of an entire Armenian world in perpetual metamorphosis.

 The focus is on the Catholicosate, the spiritual culture and arts of the Armenians in Cilicia as well as the broader region west and south of the mainland. Circumstances in these parts of the historical Armenian habitat were different from those in the north and east.

They inevitably generated intriguing patterns in the political, social and cultural development of the people and the institutions.”
 
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The Catholicosate of Cilicia