‘Issues and Perspectives’ – A new book by His Holiness Aram I

14 August 2013


Aram I


In the Introduction of his recent book, His Holiness Aram I states that "two salient features of modern societies occupy a central place in this book." These are: "First, religion has become pivotal in the daily life of societies. It is, in one way or another and on a larger or smaller scale, associated with critical issues and deep concerns, particularly in the realms of politics, economics, the environment, science and technology. While religion by its very nature and vocation is a source of peace and reconciliation, justice and progress, it has also been misused and abused for evil ends. This abuse of religion, with its far-reaching consequences, is one of the most complex problems facing the world today.


Second, the world has undergone a tremendous change, driven by the explosion in the technology of information and communication. We are all part of cyberspace and are wired into networks, which instantly connect people of all places, races, religions and cultures, even in the remotest corners of the globe. Walls are collapsed, boundaries are abolished and lines of demarcation are destroyed. We are transformed into a cybercommunity, which has its own culture, value-system, rules and norms. This intercon­nectedness not only integrates; it also disintegrates. It not only recon­ciles peoples; it also polarizes them."


According to Aram I, "the implications of these major and unprece­dented developments are identifiable in almost all spheres of societal life."


In his introductory remarks His Holiness reminds the readers that he "addresses issues with an interactive approach and in a holistic way. One cannot resolve issues by evading them nor oppose them by simply disagreeing with them or undermining their im­por­tance. In fact, those committed to serving huma­nity must discern and confront issues, provide perspective and seek solutions." The Catholicos also reminds that "the issues touched in this book are timely and they deserve focal attention and serious discussion. I do not claim that the views that I have offered and observations that I have made are exhaustive. But I do hope that the perspectives that I have provided may bring a meagre contribution towards the com­prehensive and critical scrutiny of these complex issues, acute problems and major challenges."


The volume includes the following articles:


•      Rediscovering the Missio Dei: A Call to the Churches

•      Catholicity: Its Implications and Imperatives

•      Gregory of Narek: Our Eternal Contemporary

•      Identity: A Source of Unity and Division

•      Cilician Culture: A Culture of Dialogue

•      The Armenian Genocide: From Recognition to Reparation

•      The Role of Religion in the Context of Changing Societies

•      Religion in the Geopolitics of the Middle East

•      Living as a Community with Islam

•      The Future of Christianity in the Middle East

•      The Arab Spring and the Christian Communities

•      Mutual Trust: The Basis of Cohabitation

•      Notes from my Ecumenical Diary