Thursday, 19 May 2016

ARMENIA: LIFE AND STUDY OF AN ENDURING CULTURE Monday 23 May 7:00 PM – Harold Lee Room Pembroke College University of Oxford


The Cult of Saints and the Body Politic:
Dilemmas of Nationhood and Sainthood in the Caucasus
Dr Nikoloz Aleksidze

(Pembroke College, Oxford)
The history of the cult of the saints in the Caucasus is exceptional in many ways. But perhaps the most striking characteristic of the formation of the cult of saints is how early in Late Antiquity the cult of relics and of saints acquired political weight among Armenians, Albanians and Georgians. The canonisation of the victims of the Genocide in Armenia and the continuous appropriation of the secular symbols of nationhood by the Georgian Church raises new questions regarding the definition and demarcation of secular, national and sacred in the Caucasus.

This is the third lecture in a series sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union, London Branch. The series commemorates the Armenian Genocide begun in 1915 and Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship in Armenian Studies  at Pembroke College, University of Oxford in 1965.

For more information, contact Prof. Theo Maarten van Lint at

Prof. Th.M. van Lint
Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies
The Oriental Institute
University of Oxford
Pusey Lane, OX1 2LE Oxford

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