Mike Aquilina

Armenian Rhapsody

Saturday September 02nd 2006, 6:52 pm

The Greek and Latin Fathers get ample notice. The Coptic and Syriac Fathers have definitely been a growth industry in patristics. But the Armenian Fathers remain little known in my corner of the world. We’re certainly indebted to the ancient Church of Armenia for its love of books. Some of the great works of the Greek and Latin Fathers are known today only because we have Armenian translations! The Church in Armenia coexisted, sometimes less than peacefully, with an equally vibrant Jewish culture. Scholars believe that the Armenian Jews preserved many musical, liturgical, and ascetical traditions of the Second Temple period. The Church assimilated a good bit of these, too.

All this came to mind as I read about archeologists’ recent discovery of ancient cave churches in Armenia. You can look it up.