NEW YORK — On Friday, November 16, Dr. Christopher Sheklian, director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian church of America, presented his newest research at the 117th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), in San Jose, CA.
Dr. Sheklian, whose research focuses on Armenian Apostolic Christianity and its role in Armenian cultural life, is trained as an anthropologist, receiving his doctorate from the department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2017.
At the conference Dr. Sheklian delivered a paper titled “Christian Environmentalism and the Temporality of Creation(ism).” This paper is the beginning of a new research project, which looks at different Christian responses to contemporary environmental challenges. In addition to relying on the extensive theological writings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Dr. Sheklian has begun fieldwork with Christian environmental groups based in New York. He also draws on the theology of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and plans to articulate an Armenian Christian environmental theology as he continues this project.
The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association is the largest academic gathering of anthropologists in the world, convening for almost a week every year. During that week, hundreds of panel presentations offer a view of the current state of the academic discipline of anthropology.
In addition to his membership in the American Anthropological Association, Dr. Sheklian is also a member of the Society for Armenian Studies. At the same time that the AAA met in San Jose, the Society for Armenian Studies convened in San Antonio as part of the larger annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association.
During that meeting, the Society for Armenian Studies announced the winners of the best books and dissertations in Armenian Studies for the years 2015-2017. Dr. Sheklian’s dissertation, “Theology and the Community: The Armenian Minority, Tradition, and Secularism in Turkey” was awarded the second place “Honorable Mention” for best dissertation.
As director of the Zohrab Information Center, Dr. Sheklian maintains active participation in the academic discipline of Armenian Studies and its related fields.