Author Topic: Armenian Orthodox Monasteries that are still in use?  (Read 3303 times)

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Offline Gisasargavak

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Armenian Orthodox Monasteries that are still in use?
« on: July 03, 2011, 03:11:55 AM »
Does anyone know of any Armenian Orthodox monasteries that are still or outside of Armenia? I know the Copts have a great monastic tradition, but what happened to the Armenian monastic tradition?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 03:13:56 AM by Gisasargavak »

Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Orthodox Monasteries that are still in use?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 03:34:05 AM »
It's my understanding that there is a monastery in Lebanon, but I could be wrong.

In Armenia, I believe monasticism is being revived.  I don't know the details, though.

Offline Aram

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Re: Armenian Orthodox Monasteries that are still in use?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 08:26:09 AM »
There are monasteries in Armenia (off the top of my head) at Etchmiadzin and (I think) Lake Sevan.  There are also monastic communities in Antellias, Jerusalem, and Istanbul.  There are no Armenian monastic communities in the United States, or anywhere else, that I know of.  The actual brotherhoods to which Armenian monks belong are rooted in Etchmiadzin, Antellias, Jerusalem (St. James), and Istanbul.  There is also the Armenian Catholic community at San Lazarro (the Mekhitarists), which also has a branch in Vienna. 

As with many other things, Armenian monasticism suffered greatly in the Genocide.  Many of the famed ancient/ruined churches dotting Armenian and Anatolia once were "monasteries" long ago.  That being said, Armenian monasticism was never as particularly widespread, nor as particularly emphasized, as it is in other Christian traditions.  Armenians did not have the grand physical plants and specialized missions of Catholic monasticism, and did not necessarily have the ascetic isolation and rigid order of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. 

Aside from a handful of nuns in Etchmiadzin, Armenian monks are male, and are almost always priests.  There is a strong emphasis on education and teaching within the celibate clergy.  Members of the brotherhoods are not required to live where the brotherhood is headquartered, and as a result, are spread around the globe in many different dioceses. 

Has there been a revival in monasticism in Armenia/Jerusalem/etc.?  I'm not sure.  There was a stretch of time when there was a great number of celibate clergy being ordained very young in Armenia, but it is my understanding this practice has been slowed.  And if the current situation of the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are any indication of anything, it seems to me Armenian monasticism is actually in decline.  But that's another discussion.