The book "Dogmatic Works" of Khosrovik Targmanich is one of the fundamental works of Christology of the Armenian Church. It is already translated by Ankyunacar Publishing into Modern Armenian and Russian. This project is about translating it into English, thus making available it for a wider audience.
The beginning of the 8th century was decisive for the Armenian Church and its theological system. Byzantine Empire, which, 200 years after the Council of Chalcedon was fluctuating between rejection and acceptance of Chalcedon Council, at the end of the 7th century took a decision to favour Chalcedon Council. And this move was grounded by the works and commentaries of Maximus the Confessor, Leontius Byzantine etc. The policy of the Byzantine Empire did not stop on Christological disputes but took a form of forceful conversion of non-Chalcedonian Churches into Chalcedonian theology.
Though with the strengthening of Arab influence the political situation did not allow to go far in forceful measures, the theological dispute was imposed on Armenian and Syriac non-Chalcedonian Churches, and in some dioceses of the Armenian Church, which appeared under a Byzantine political rule, conversion to Chalcedonian theology took place. In these circumstances, Catholicos St. Hovhan Odznetsi has to react properly and substantiate clearly the reasons why Chalcedonian Christology was not acceptable for the Armenian and Syriac Churches, a task that he solved brilliantly.
That is why the Manazkert Council (726) was summoned where Armenian and Syriac bishops together formulated 10 clauses, which clearly stated the Christological position of the two Churches. One of the leading theologians at the Council, after the Catholicos was Khosrovik Targmanich (the Interpreter). His five epistles, composing the contents of this book, were written most probably after the Manazkert Council and are addressed to different people. The first is addressed to a Chalcedonian bishop, probably in a territory under Byzantine influence. Here Khosrovik shows different understandings of basic theological terms by the Armenian Church wherefore differences in Christological understanding follows. This is the main work in this collection and the author reminds the basic definitions of such terms as "hypostasis", "persona", "nature" etc., taken both from pre-Chalcedonian fathers of the Church and philosophers, and moreover conducts comparison and correlation between them. To understand the importance of these definitions it is enough to say that debates about the exact definitions of these terms are still going on among theologians of different denominations, and most of them are unaware about the views of the Armenian Church expressed by St. Hovan Odznetsi, Khosrovik and others.
The other epistles are addressed to Syriac and Armenian bishops, explaining the attitude of Manazkert Council towards passability vs impassibility of Christ's body, or mortality vs immortality of Christ's body, which was the ground for the division in Syriac Church between followers of Julian and Severius.
The book will contain the original Grabar (Old Armenian) text on the facing pages with the English translation. The book has an extensive foreword, footnote annotations and a detailed index.
The project is carried out in cooperation with our partner Vestigia.
Publishing of the book is scheduled in December 2018.