GLENDALE – University of Oxford Associate, Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian will be in town to present a special illustrated talk titled, Challenges Facing Eastern Christianity Caught in Extremism and Destruction in the Middle East on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 7:30pm at Abril Bookstore – 415 E. Broadway, Glendale, CA. Admission is free. Event is sponsored by In His Shoes.

Eastern Christian communities in the Middle East, with deep historical, theological, cultural and social roots in the region, are at the verge of disappearance in the coming decades in the very lands where Christianity was born. Indeed, four of the five of the most important hierarchical centers in Christianity are in the Middle East today, whose roots go back to two millennia (namely, the Patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople). While small in numbers relative to global Christianity, communities in the Middle East, especially the Levant, have ecclesial significance for the wider Christian world. Against the background of the deep history and rich religious heritage of these communities, Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian will discuss the critical challenges facing Christianity in the Middle East today, in face of wars, religious extremism, sectarian conflicts, socio-economic decline and migration.

Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian is an activist sociologist. In recent years he has drawn attention to the plight of minorities and Christian communities in the Middle East, especially in academic and policy-making circles. As a public intellectual, his research, thinking and projects aim to make heritage identity, culture and language a living experience, especially in diasporic life. Following his PhD in sociology at the London School of Economics, he was director of research on Eurasia and lecturer at Cambridge University’s business school (2003-2012). Since 2012, he is Associate of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at University of Oxford, focusing on Middle Eastern and Armenian studies, with a particular focus on identity politics, homeland-disaspora relations, sociology of religion, and inter-ethnic conflicts in the Middle East and Eurasia. Dr. Tchilingirian has lectured internationally and is the author of numerous academic studies and popular articles. Dr. Tchilingirian has held executive positions in academic institutions and charitable organizations and has served communities in various capacities and leadership positions in the United Kingdom and the United States for over three decades. He remains deeply engaged in community life and takes active part in civic and professional projects.

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