Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Reproduction and Innovation in Literarure. The Narrative

Continuity and change, tradition and innovation in Armenian identity

Boghos Levon Zekiyan (Universita Ca'Foscari Venezia - Dipartamento di Eurasiatici Lingua e literatura Armena)


The problem of continuity and change, of tradition and innovation is a basic question for each social, ethnic, and cultural entity as to its existence and developments throughout history. The question becomes al the more interesting and complicated in so far the entity at issue has a longer existence in history and has gone through a greater variety of epochal differences. This is the case of the Armenian nation and of its millennial culture. They represent one of those cases in history which are characterized by a great variety of peoples, states, empires, and cultures in contact, of inner social, religious, and political structures, of forms and typologies of political existence.

Armenians have known independent statehood, and even a short living empire, as well as long centuries of submission to foreign power, a deep-rooted presence in their ancestral homeland as well as multifarious forms of presence in foreign countries, a strong awareness of their ethnic, cultural and religious identity but also forms of a brilliant integration in the social, and even political structures, in the life and in the culture of other nations and states.

Few other peoples present a historical landscape of such a great variety in forms and patterns of social and cultural behaviour, and altogether such a deep continuity of their self-awareness.

The paper aims, at first, to investigate the main factors and inner dynamics, both from ideological and anthropological viewpoints, which contributed to determine a similar evolution and had as a result the shaping of a peculiar and original ethno-cultural model; secondly, the paper also aims to illustrate the reasons why such a model may be of a topic interest for our days.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-09-26