On 30 November and 1 December an international conference entitled “Plenitude of Grace, Plenitude of Humanity: St. Nerses Shnorhali at the Juncture of Millennia”, dedicated to the 850th anniversary of the death of Catholicos Nerses Shnorhali was held at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome (organizers: Archbishop Poghos Levon Zekiyan, Marko Bais, Željko Paša, Zaroui Pogossyan, Abraham Terian, with the immensive support of Khazhak Archbishop Parsamyan). Considering expertise and previous research, aiming to discuss the multifaceted activity of Nerses Shnorhali, distinguished scholars of the field were invited to present and share their thoughts on this conference.
Senior researchers of the Matenadaran – Erna-Manea Shirinian, Vahan Ter-Ghevondian, Edda Vardanyan and Armine Melkonyan – participated in the conference as well.
Erna Shirinyan’s paper under the title “St. Nerses as an Exegete” was dealing with the interpretations of the Gracious Patriarch. The author brought forward various examples from his commentaries and attested that Nerses Shnorhali used typological and classical types of the exegesis juxtaposing with original Armenian approaches.
Vahan Ter-Ghevondian’s paper “The Creation of the New Armenian Homeland and the Era of Nerses Shnorhali” discussed the social changes among the Armenians, who migrated from the Greater Armenia to Cilicia and surrounding regions. He emphasized Nerses Shnorhali’s major contribution to the reconstruction of the Church structure, the establishment of the permanent Catholicosate and the promotion of dialogue with the other churches in a new environment.
Edda Vardanyan in her paper “La théologie de Nersès Shnorhali et l’enluminure cilicienne aux XIIe-XIV siècles” presented some of the iconographic themes, used in the illuminated manuscripts, that first appeared in Cilicia in the 12th century, especially in the scriptoria of Hromkla and Skevra. She noted that discussed iconographic motifs are closely related to the theology of Nerses Shnorhali.
Armine Melkonyan’s paper “Commentary on the Encomium on the Holy Cross of David the Invincible by St. Nerses Shnorhali and some Observations on its Latin Translation” specified the historical background of the commentary in question, presented the surviving manuscripts, the content, theological analysis as well as some peculiarities of the Latin translation by the Italian historian Giuseppe Cappelletti published in Venice in 1833.