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Still Vapors April 27, 2012 PHRE Senior Seminar The Long Journey Home: Modern Armenian Faith

and Sacred Spaces Religious scholars have attempted to answer the central question, How are religious communities and faith composed? At least one scholar attempted to answer this by defining center. Eliade considers faith communities and outright religions to grow in relation to given sacred sites and objects of religious significance.1 To quote him directly, Every microcosm, every inhabited region, has what may be called a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all.2 In other instances Eliade refers to this Centre as an axis mundi which translates directly to center of the world.3 Applying Eliades statement in the case of a single community will be the central focus of this paper. One thing must be addressed directly Eliade states in the original work each one of these microcosms there may be several centres. Eliade takes great pains to suppose these axis mundi may all be considered centers of the world with no compunction on how any number of sites could be the Centre of the world.4 To address any religious community we must acknowledge that Eliade may be right; there may be far more than one big grand axis mundi for an individual or community and any list enumerated may not be exhaustive. This is not to say that Eliade is the only authority on the sacred versus the profane; one possible counter-argument to Eliades general theory of center is found in Cooneys

Like slime mold around a food source. 2 Eliade, Images and Symbols, 39. 3 Throughout this paper I will be using the terms axis mundi and Centre interchangeably. 4 Eliade, Images and Symbols, 39.

statement, A better view might be to suggest that the sacred is a current underlying all aspects of everyday life and that there are specific times, places, and events when the sacred comes to the fore.5 If the sacred is not divorced from everyday life and rituals and practices only appear to heighten them, how can we judge any one site central? It is possible these sites may be defined by the religious rites and practices performed at the site or toward it. One example may include adherents praying to Mecca. The possibility a sacred site is defined at least in part by the actions and rituals performed in deference to it cannot be ignored. Some of Eliades sternest critics make note that Eliade ignores this possibility willingly. In McCutcheons seminal book Manufacturing Religion, Eliade is summarized well if not very flatteringly, Although the political uses and implications of myth seem to be acknowledged in the quotation, that is, that such symbolic expressions promote certain social arrangements, Eliade rules out interpreting stories of the origins of the universe as themselves arising from sociopolitical and historical contexts. It is important to recognize that, for Eliade, these "exemplary models" are simply expressed or manifested in social and historical contexts; they do not arise from them.6 From this Eliade is characterized as painting centers as objects or places unbound by social or historical contexts, and further that their religious significance arise from the centers sacredness. As McCutcheon points out, Stephen Yale rebuts this claim and contend a social definition and creation of such sites; Yale concludes that, contrary to Eliade's almost exclusive emphasis on the religious or existential meaning, causes, and uses for the symbolism of the center, the "reasons why a man believes that his village is the center of the Cooney 33. 6 McCutcheon 43.

world are also economic, political, and social, as well as religious.7 To address the case of the Armenian people, I must contend with the possibility that Eliades critics may be correct and Eliades unbound center may be factually incorrect. To test the prima facie definition of an axis mundi for Eliade I propose a special case what happens to the center when a stable religious community is disrupted and displaced, as is the case of the Armenian people between 1895 and 1915? It would be a far cry from the static example offered by Yale, the village so defined by social and economic forces. I believe the Armenian people have experienced such a disruption given the a proposed official record of the United States Congress on the matter: The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.8 Though the breadth of an ethnic cleansing is all too neatly encapsulated in the above statement, it includes vital facts the event occurred in a relatively short period of time in human history (some eight years), and dispossessed a large and storied religious community from their ancestral home. How can any religious community remain stable or unaffected with such disruption in their axis mundi? It is my initial thesis they cannot, either by Eliades definition or another. It is my contention the composition of these axis mundi have altered significantly as a result of the Genocides and their resulting displacement. This relevance of this thesis and its supporting analysis is not moot; the significance of a McCutcheon 43. 8 House Bill 106, 2007.

worldviews center is often profound. Worldviews and cosmologies have found religious and mythological definition throughout the course of human history. Sites widely considered to be sacred spaces may be sites housing a church or ecclesiastical body, such as the Golden Temple of the Sikh religion in India9 with regional or global importance, or they may be a place where religious visions have taken place, such as Lourdes, France.10 Both of these mentioned sites ascribe to a widely recognized monotheistic global religion, which contrasts strongly with the Mounds of Cahokia, mounds of different shapes and sizes, with one in particular [dominating] the others, rising up like a small mountain. 11 Though the Trappist monks mentioned had looked and therefore noticed the mounds, they did not declare it particularly sacred beyond a site for encampment. Though high places have been used as places to build upon and venerate as natural objects (cite example here), they were unaware of the historical and cultural significance of the site only some 400 years after the first civilizations use of the site.12 This may be one example of a sacred site made entirely through social definition through the actions and settlement of persons in and around the site, the site was sacred, not through any overwhelming physical feature or overlap between the sacred and profane. Through their actions, the original settlers of Cahokia produced a sacred site, and again the earthen mound it became was deemed a sacred site for a religious settlement. This is at least one salient historical example of a sacred space or axis mundi defined through social parameters and simple need. Perhaps Yale and other Eliadian critics have room 13 to stand on. Some Eliade scholars believe this reconsideration of the Sacred in the West is part of

Brockman 91. 10 Brockman 156. 11 Harpur 112. 12 Harpur 114. 13 Or Kahokia Mounds.

Eliades general working theory. As David Cave suggests by way of McCutcheon: Eliades body of work construes what Eliade contended to be certain fundamentally human, archaic values lost in the secular and scientific West. Cave continues In Eliade's words, "by attempting to understand the existential situations expressed by the documents he is studying, the historian of religions will inevitably attain to a deeper knowledge of man. It is on the basis of such knowledge that a new humanism, on a worldwide scale, could develop" (1984: 3). According to Eliade, and in a suitably normative fashion, the spiritually barren consciousness of the West would in this way be awakened to truly authentic modes of living.14 McCutcheon himself contests Caves ecstatic celebration of a new humanism arising from Eliades work, but Caves excitement reveals something vital the promise of Eliades center and general cosmology addresses a yearning for coherent study of religious center and perhaps reaffirms inquiries on sacred spaces unexplored in Western study. I am uncertain if Caves predictions will bear out, or that the West is particularly barren, but I will use Eliades definition of axis mundi in the course of this research. The rationale is fairly simple. Despite Eliades detractors, his definition of a Center is categorical and can be applied to a site either in the sense of a pass/fail litmus test or as part of a deeper interrogation. As Im discussing sacred objects and sites of the Armenian culture, any strong definition of what constitutes a sacred space as a Centre is essential in discussing these sites and relics. The core definition of axis mundi seems to fulfill that as a diagnostic tool in discussing the subject matter Armenians before and after the 1915 genocide. Following


McCutcheon 92.

Eliades framework prima facie, are Armenians axis mundi altered in any way? Do their practices after the Genocide indicate axis mundi have always been socially defined? The only way to begin addressing these questions is to analyze sites and symbols religious importance to the Armenians before and after the Genocide of 1915. This raises a question. How can Armenians in Armenia and Armenians in modern Diaspora be defined without narrowing the terms to adherents of the Armenian Church, also likely of Armenian birth or descent? Is it not likely that any Armenians were targeted by the purges and progroms? Eliade may have encountered similar difficulties with definition - as he points out the history of religions is still, as we all know, confused with anthropology, ethnology, sociology, religious psychology.15 One could say a study of the Armenians easily confuses and conflates these fields. In the fifth century, Upper Armenia was reduced to a Persian province, after the toppling of a successful hierarchy of Patriarchs stretching back to 364s Arsakes, King of Armenia, Primate of the Armenian Church.16 This was generally the state of Armenia under Turkish rule in 1895. This state of affairs is no simple mistake; since to the fifth century time the Persian Empire had never ceased to exert pressure on the Armenians to break their religious and cultural ties with the Greeks.17 Their stubborn refusal to do so provides a cursory definition of Armenian Christians: those Christians who descend from the Christian culture of the Armenian people of the fifth century. This may be a broad definition, but a useful one. As the Encyclopedia of Relgion mentions in some length, there were multiple schools of Christian worship within Armenia before the events of 1895. Armenian Christians had extensive contact with the Latin

Eliade, Images and Symbols, 28. Fortescue 20. 17 Encyclopedia of Religion, 488, Armenian Church
15 16

church in Rome and found a host of their own troubles, including jurisdictional schisms in 1113 and again in 1375. In both cases, a catholicos18 attempted to exert control over Greater Armenia, only to find themselves in a new splinter group. This cycle is repeated in 1828 as Armenia was folded into Russian control; the eastern potion of Armenia became subject to a small government-controlled synod. Perhaps in reaction to this turn of events, a faction in Western Armenia successfully plied for self-governance under the civil code of the Ottoman Empire in 1863. Given the divisions nearing the flash point of World War I it is difficult to furnish a nuanced definition of Armenian Christians as a singular group. I take some comfort that be that though all descend from a Christian culture of the fifth century, there was internal conflict, and the unique position of cultural contact and interplay with Rome and Greek Christian communities. Maybe any honest definition of Armenian Christians is a broad definition. Owing to the forcible redefinition of Armenian doctrine by external political forces (Russia in the east, the Ottoman Empire in the west), it should be noted that at original Armenian dogma came from extensive interplay with the Latin church as well as the Greek church prior to the fifth century. The creation of a hybrid religious identity continued to 1642, when the Armenian Book of Liturgy was Latinized and standardized by Rome, leaving Armenians to feel justly that their national services are presented to Western Christendom in a Latinized and mutilated condition.19 This struggle as faith independent both from East Orthodoxy and Catholicism presents a unique and stable community unlike any other by design. Does this independence bear out in specific symbols or rites are seen before and after the

Catholicoi are the heads of some of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, roughly similar to a Catholic major archbishop. (New World Encyclopedia, Web Edition, Bishop) 19 Fontescue 195.

Armenian genocides? There is at least one well-studied symbol that exists before and after the Genocides. Fortescue describes the altar of the typical Armenian Church as open to the general viewing audience except that during certain portions of the service a large curtain is drawn in front of it and hides it from view.20As the text makes no particular mention of found art, I presume the altar is a man-made object.21 No particular mention is made of the surrounding building. The there is no Cahokia Mound-as-city versus Cahokia-Mound-as-building site to consider. It is not a found church but a created site. I may be able to apply Eliades axis mundi model to the altar. From Sacred Space, in particular the chapter Making the World Sacred, Eliade lays a simple ground work for a sacred cosmology: a) A sacred space constitutes a break in the homogeneity of space; (b) this break is symbolized by an opening by which passage from one cosmic region to another is made possible (from heaven to earth and vice versa; from earth to the underworld); c) communication with heaven is expressed by one or another of certain images, all of which refer to the axis mundi: pillar ladder mountain, tree, vine, etc. d) all around this cosmic axis lies the world (=our world), hence the axis is located in the middle, at the navel of the Earth; it is the Center of the World.22 Taking the image of the cosmic pillar of an Armenian altar and applying Eliades measure, some analysis can be made. The altar constitutes a break in the homogeneity of space at least when it is closed; even when open the presence of the large curtain may

Fontescue 117. Likely some member of the church carved the altar, the cross. 22 Eliade, Sacred and the Profane, 37.
20 21

constitute an opening by which passage is made. The altar (when closed) is only breeched during specific times of ceremony, which Eliade may allude to as sacred time as well. Crosses may constitute images which refer to the axis mundi by which communication with heaven is expressed. The very placement of the altar may constitute a break in homogeneous space; the altar is invariably placed on the east end of the Church.23 This seems to be a fairly standard application of Eliades model, yet part of the text indicates a wrinkle in using Fontescue's description of Armenian Churches as a pre-1915 source. It was published in 1872, and so it qualifies as a text rendered before both 1915 and 1895, yet it addresses a sea change within the Church - This arrangement of the Altar seems to have been introduced at the time Armenians were so much affected by Latin influences. 24 If construction of the altar itself is not put to question for brevitys sake, we should consider what elements of axis mundi human movements, actions, and most importantly rites directly impact; After all, this Latinization may have changed the interaction with the altar. The thick screen seen in 1872 by Fontescue was one of the few possible elements of the altar denoting an opening through which passage can be made; as Fontescue clearly describes they do not possess [a] great screen generally found in Oriental churches, but the Altar is exposed to view.25 The liminal space is (in the days the author saw them) clearly bounded off by a curtain during certain holy rites, but not others. What is the liminal space when indeed there had been no curtain, prior to the mentioned Latinization? What opening can be seen other than an open-canopy altar? If this element has changed significantly during the cited Latinization (which was unwelcome in the case of the Armenian Book of Gospel but somehow welcome in obscuring

Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed. Armenian Church. Modern developments. 24 Fontescue 117. 25 Fontescue 117.

the altar), how can we not define the creation and veneration of an altar something entirely manmade as socially defined? If these are socially defined, how can they not be just as easily socially redefined in times of crisis? This crisis the Armenian genocide of 1915 needs to be addressed to answer the question. Though the core facts have already been touched on courtesy of the United States congressional declaration on the matter, it only expresses scope of the killings some 1.5 million killed. It does not express the horrors experienced by the survivors or the dead. In somewhat poetic terms, the author of Road to Oblivion put it best: For me, the abiding picture of the Armenian genocide is the Armenian caravans. Out in the desert, probably in transit to some arid final destination in Mesopotamia, women and children carried their pathetic bundles to their death through exposure or disease. Alongside them at intervals marched the paramilitary troops, whose license included the right to rob, slaughter, and leave for dead. Where were the Armenian men? They had already been roped together and shot, their corpses rotting along the countryside 26 The proposed reasons for the genocide are myriad. In Grabers view it is was in response to ever-escalating tensions between the Ottoman Empire and Armenians, who were treated as underclass non-Muslim gaiour under sharia law.27 Given a rise in education in the middle and upper classes of Armenian culture, Graber supposes, thoughts questioning the subjugation of Armenians in Turkish society were bound to happen. In the face of continuing oppression at home and a call in Armenian-ex-patriot

Graber 5. 27 (Graber 23)


Geneva in 1890 that Armenia now demands, with gun in hand28 for redress of their grievances, revolution was in the air. The regime of the Ottoman Empire responded. In the years leading to 1915, indeed beginning in 1892, [the regime] had authorized the formation of some thirty regiments each about five hundred men strong whose spoken or unspoken function was to suppress the Armenians.29 With tensions increasing by 1895 the British consol noted The Armenians were and are still in great stress, citing blackmail, persecution by authorities, and simple robbery. All of these indicate an institutionalization of persecution against Armenians. By 1895, villages were reported burned, bodies thrown into the wells, showing a perfection of plan and deliberation of action impossible to an unprepared and suddenly aroused mob.30 The rise of these mobs was a preamble to the broad genocides of 1915. Against the backdrop of regime change and despite increases in civil liberties for women in Constantinope, killings continued through 1909.31 After the outbreak of World War I in Europe, and during maneuvering by British forces that gave the new Young Turk breathing space, Turkish plans to wipe out the Armenian people were drawn. In February of 1915 the aim of what had been simple violence for the past twenty years took a new pallor, as party leaders had grown to believe it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the Armenian people in its entirety.32 Militias had been formed with the express purpose

Graber 28. 29 Graber 29. 30 Graber 31-32. 31 Graber 49. 32 Garber 87


of murdering Armenians wholesale.33 By mid-April of 1915, displaced persons crossing the Russian border noted an upswing in mass killings, with so much as ten villages near the Russian border razed.34 The genocide of 1915 had begun. The violence continued apace; genocides ocrred throughout the final months of the war, which alone saw the killing of between 50,000 and 100,000 Armenians.35 As described, killings had occurred as far back as 1895 and implied by Garber and other authors to have antecedents in killings before this time. It is the targeting of Armenians to be killed wholesale in 1915 which so defines the Armenian crisis by which I compare axis mundi and faith before 1895 and after 1915. That same twentyyear period may give insight into the creation of an Armenian Diaspora. Many had fled to the cities of America, as noted in The Torch was Passed.36 It notes in particular that many Armenians began emigrating after the first wave of killings around 1895. To my mind the timeline of the church shows an interesting wrinkle. Well-to-do ArmenianAmericans along the East Coast had begun petitioning for a new diocese in New York before the wave of immigrants around 1895. The creation of new places of worship consecrated by the wider church was not in response to the genocides as much as simple immigration, though there may have been a significant increase in interest as many new immigrants sought to escape the oppressive conditions in Turkey. The New York diocese is simply listed as one of twenty such diocese in the wider Armenian Church in the Encyclopedia of Religion.37 Given previous historical

Garber 87 34 Garber 91. 35 Garber 148. 36 Torch, 5. 37 Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed. Armenian Church. Modern developments.

schisms in the Armenian Church such as rebel catholicos carving out new jurisdictions, balkanization by larger political bodies, and the modern special cases of patriarchates in Jerusalem and Istanbul, it is plausible the Armenians of New York could have easily splintered and declared themselves not subject to the catholicos in Echmiadzin or Cilicia in Armenia. I can only presume this commitment to the existing catholicos is intentional, as the options were possible and had been explored by other Armenians. Their continued ecclesiastical bonds with the wider Armenian Church suggests a willingness for continuity of faith from the old world to the new. The creation of these new sacred spaces (places of religious worship within the new proposed diocese in New York) given the adherence to Church infrastructure did not significantly alter their faith. As a building the first Armenian church in America is not given any special note in its architecture or design, simply having been completed in six months38 which leads me to conclude Diaspora churches were not organized spatially in a manner inconsistent with previous churches in Armenia. If anything, there is no indication these new sacred spaces are not loose reproductions of previously established ones. If the organization of the church both in hierarchy and design did not change in response to the rise to genocide, what of ritual practice? Had there been a change in the previously mentioned concealment of the altar? One example of the previously explored altar curtain is found in the Oxford Dictionary of Religion; the altar is usually on a stage at the east end of the church, and a curtain is drawn for the duration of the communion of the clergy.39 The description is terse but strongly suggests the continued use of enclosure cited by Fontesque in the late 1800s, including its mentioned role in Zakian 3. 39 Oxford Dictionary of Religion, Armenian Church, 90.

the concealment and revelation of the cross. Does this mean there was no change for Armenians immigrating to the United States in their larger lives? At least to the mind of one writer, this is not the case; Possession of a foreign accent and addiction to alien ways and ideas were frowned upon. Obviously the shocked and wretched survivors of the Abdul Hamid and Young Turk massacres were happy to seek refuge in America on any terms whatever, and were anxious to shed as soon as possible the quaint Near Eastern characteristics which marked them out as recent immigrants from a rather despised and backward part of the world.40 This presents an interesting turn; though the transmission from one continent to another has not altered the composition of the church body in America, part of their linguistic identity may have been altered. (Is this another interesting turn to the Latinization in the larger Armenian church?) It may not suggest a change in the faith life of an immigrant, but the passage underscores there were influences beyond the Genocide that acted upon Armenians in Diaspora. What of the faith life of Armenians? In the wake of World War I many survivors found solace in their pre-existing beliefs. In the case of Minister Abraham H. Hartunian in post-War Armenia, the conversion of a Turkish Muslim to Christianity on March 9 1919 was cause for great celebration; When we heard these words, our joy and hopes were heaven-high. It seemed as though all the wounds, open in our hearts for years, had suddenly healed, that the gloom of former days was now no more!41 During World War Lang 132. 41 Hartunian 122.

I Hartunian had been spared deportation and death by working as a laborer in a work camp at the hands of German officers, then allies to the Turks.42 As a first-hand witness to labor camps, the killing fields, and the destruction in his hometown, an examination of Hartunians faith may well indicate changes in the faith life of Armenians in general in light of the Genocide. In a way Hartunians statements do reflect a change in Armenian faith; it seems all the stronger after the genocides. Based on Hartunians testimony he was far from alone; he states, my church alone had more than two thousand people; during services the building was always filled to overflowing, many standing outside the windows to hear the Living Word.43 In the passage Hartunian describes the services in his church alongside the rebuilding of schools and a general return to normalcy. His continued faith may not represent every Armenian who lived through the genocide, and his statements may not reflect the beliefs of descendants of survivors, but it is a metric of what happens to a personal Armenian faith when presented crisis. If anything the call to traditional Armenian faith is underscored in the catholicos first decree allowing for the creation of the American diocese in 1898, The peace of the world is unstable. But Gods peace is immortal and gives happiness to mankind. Live with each other in peace and in love, so that you may preserve your existence in a foreign land where many languages are spoken.44 I contend this indicates the faith-life of the Armenian people may have been impacted by the genocides as well as a gentler shift to the West, but for surviving believers, its foundational tenants were not altered. Hartunian mentions

Hartunian 83. Harutman 123. 44 Zakian 9.

42 43

repeatedly the consecration in Christs blood consistent with dogma in the church 45, and the catholicos calls repeatedly in his treatise for continued traditional worship in the Armenian-American community. Even if these are conservative voices in the faith, it does not seem that either mass emigration or genocide significantly altered the stated beliefs of the church. If the practice and belief system of individual Armenians46 remained on the even, what of the organization of the Armenian Church in human resources? In Torch it expresses the Church was hit especially hard, with a huge percentage of her clergymen suffering martyrdom at the hands of the Turks. From this Zakian makes the claim that the American diocese is the largest such church body of the Armenian church outside of Armenia47, and draws the conclusion [the genocide] literally changed the map of Armenian life, shifting its center of gravity away from traditional Armenian lands, and into the diaspora.48 So despite a significant shift in the population of the church and an alteration of the balancing point of power within the Church, Hartunians example suggests the faith-life of Armenian faith remained strong and unchanged. From this it seems plausible the ecclesiastical ties of Armenians, their rituals, their basic system of belief, and (most important to Eliade), the composition of their sacred spaces are nearly identical before and after the Genocides of 1915. What disturbances Armenians in Armenia felt were rectified in the case of Hartunians community rebuilding, and to be frank the Armenian Diocese centennial book of 1998 seems

Encyclopedia of Religion, Armenian Church; Dogma Even the catholicos is an individual Armenian, albeit an important one. 47 As of the books publication in 1999. 48 Zakian 19.
45 46

more concerned with internal affairs than exploring the cultural impact of the influx of Armenian survivors. Given the lack of change in the axis mundi of the Armenian altar, the ostensible continuity of ritual practice toward it, and the relative ease with which the American Armenian diocese incorporated into the larger Church body, it seems the genocide is not reflected in any change in the basic composition of axis mundi in Armenian-American diaspora or in rebuilt Armenia. What changes in faith life appear to be confined to personal anecdote in Hartunians memoirs, and there is no proof in other texts that significant dogmatic change was made in the wake of the Genocide. The lack of change in axis mundi over the same time period appears to invalidate my initial thesis. If anything Hartunian reflects on the rebuilding of the Church as a return to normalcy in Armenia in the same breath as secular schools or roads. It appears that axis mundi can remain stable despite the destruction of some49, and what changes in personal faith life that did occur are not linked to the composition of axis mundi. Whether this stability is purposeful or abnormal is questionable. If sacred spaces in the New World have significant continuity with Old World sites despite facing extreme difficulty, is Eliade correct in stating such sites do not have a historical or social definition? Yet The Torch Was Passed remarks these sites were made only after certain prominent Armenian-Americans wished to found new sites, and the long and storied history of the Armenians has informed their dogma, ritual, and the core composition of their altar. I suggest the continuity from the Old World of Armenia to the Diaspora of America despite the genocides is intentional and arises from a social


The named and unnamed villages from Caravans and elsewhere.

concern in the catholicos words in 1898, the preservation of an Armenian identity. Faced with displacement and outright slaughter between 1895 and 1919, the need for preservation in the Diaspora and Hartunians rebuilding may have been significantly heightened. Yet if there is no change in the axis mundi, preservation or no, Genocides or no, how can we contend that axis mundi have a social or historical context? I contend that the continued support of unchanged axis mundi may prove Eliades presumption that there is little historical or social mooring to sacred space. I note the undercurrents of immigration and gentle diaspora put upon the Armenian people are not unique. European nations saw great outbound immigration in the 1800s, including Germany, Ireland, and Poland. Faith bodies in Diaspora hold ecclesiastical bonds with synods, councils, and figureheads in the old world. The only difference between Armenians and many other Christian peoples is the Genocide, which though it did not happen unexpectedly, mass killings of Europeans were unthinkable in the West of 1915. Were genocide to happen again, as it did in the case of the Holocaust twenty years later, other faith communities may remain just as stable. On a final note, I consider the United States in parallel with Armenian Turkey. The US was established for over 200 years ago. We have no history of displacement from our homeland, other than largely voluntary immigration to America; neither did the Armenians for nearly two millennia. Though Americans dont have a history of continuing oppression from the British empire as the Armenians did the Turkish Empire, but the question remains: what will happen to other Christian faiths like those in America if and when they are displaced and disrupted?

BIBLIOGRAPHY AFFIRMATION OF THE UNITED STATES RECORD ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION, House Resolution 106, 110th Congress, First Session. (2007). Anonymous, First. Bishops. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Bishop (accessed April 25, 2012). Brockman, Norbert C. Encyclopedia of Sacred Places. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Cooney. "Sacred Sites, Sacred Places." Sacred and Secular Neolithic Landscapes in Ireland, Edited by David Carmichael, 33-43. New York, NY: Routledge, 1994. Eliade, Mircea. Images and Symbols; Studies in Religious Symbolism. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1961. of this thesis.
Eliade, Mircea. The quest; history and meaning in religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.

Graber, G. Caravans to oblivion : the Armenian Genocide, 1915. New York: J. Wiley, 1996. Harpur, James. The Atlas of Sacred Places: Meeting Points of Heaven and Earth. New York: Henry Holt, 1994. Hartunian, Abraham. Neither to laugh nor to weep : a memoir of the Armenian genocide. Cambridge, Mass: Armenian Heritage Press, 1986. Jones, Lindsay. Encyclopedia of religion. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. Mackenzie, Donald A. The Migration of Symbols and Their Relations to Beliefs and Customs. New York: AMS Press, 1970. Margry, P. J. Shrines and Pilgrimage in the Modern World: New Itineraries into the

Sacred. [Amsterdam]: Amsterdam University Press, 2008.

McCutcheon, Russell. Manufacturing religion the discourse on sui generis religion and the politics of nostalgia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Scafi, Alessandro. Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006. Westwood, Jennifer. Sacred Journeys: An Illustrated Guide to Pilgrimages around the World. New York: H. Holt, 1997. Winter, Jay. America and the Armenian genocide of 1915. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Zakian, Christopher. The torch was passed : the centennial history of the Armenian Church of America. New York: St. Vartan Press, 1998.