His Holiness Aram I to Preside Over USC Symposium

Important Conference Will Focus on Christian Response to Violence

LOS ANGELES–The University of Southern California will be the site of a major conference that His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–will preside over–focusing on the Christian response to violence with a special emphasis on the Armenian Genocide. Co-sponsored by the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church–the USC Institute of Armenian Studies and the USC Center for Religion & Civic Culture–the conference is one of several public forums during which His Holiness will address such issues under the theme of his visit "Towards the Light of Knowledge."

Many notable scholars will speak on various related topics covering events ranging from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to the current impact of violence on the daily lives of communities–families and youth today. His Holiness is deeply involved in the World Council of Churches where he has demonstrated leadership in confronting issues of violence throughout the world and it is his desire to drive discussions on this issue within Armenian communities as well. He will address the symposium with a presentation entitled "Christian Stewardship in Violent Times–The Quest for Peace."

"The church has been witness to the racial violence the Armenian people have suffered throughout the course of history and especially with the Armenian Genocide," said Prelate–His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. "With this year marking the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide–the church has an even more important role to play today in addressing many of these violence issues facing our communities and families throughout the world."

Among the scholars presenting at the conference will be Professor Hrair Dekmejian of the USC Department of Political Science and Director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies who will speak about "Christian Perspectives on War and Political Violence;" Professor Donald Miller–Director of USC School of Religion & Center for Religion & Civic Culture who will set the parameters of the conference and moderate one of the panels; and Simon Payaslian–Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies–Clark University on "The Church Bearing Witness to the Genocide of 1915: Martyrdom–Resistance–Remembrance." There will also be two panel discussions during the symposium including "The Church’s Response to Political Violence in Today’s World" with presenters Dr. Rubina Peroomian–UCLA and member of the World Affairs Council central committee and Mrs. Lorna Tourian–and "The Church’s Role in Combating Community Violence" with presenters Dr. Levon Jernazian–Dr. Viken Yacoubian and Dr. Garbis Der Yeghiayan. Following the symposium will be an exhibit by Research on Armenian Architecture (RAA) on "Cultural Genocide–The Destruction of Armenia’s Religious and Cultural Heritage."

The USC Symposium will be held on October 15–2005 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM at USC’s Davidson Conference Center–in the Embassy Room–on the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa Streets in Los Angeles. Space is limited–so those interested in attending should call the Prelacy office at (818) 248-7737–or e-mail: PRELACY@aol.com.

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