CEMS and CRS Colloquia Series: Sunni and Shia adaptation mechanisms and tools to the modern civilizational system by David Hovhannisyan, October 22

October 19, 2015

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, together with the Center for Religious Studiescordially invites you to the third lecture of its 11th Colloquia Series  

by David Hovhannisyan (Yerevan State University)


Sunni and Shia adaptation mechanisms and tools to the modern civilizational system

Time: Thursday, 22 October, 17.30

Place: CEU, Gellner Room, Nádor 9, Budapest

Reception to follow


The lecture will consist of three parts. In the first part I will review the theories of Arnold J. Toynbee and Samuel P. Huntigton on civilizations and will present my critique of the theories arguing that we have different civilizations in modern times. In the second part of the lecture I will talk about adaptation mechanisms of Shia Islam, will present different aspects of such terms as “ijtihad”, “rouhania” and etc. The third part of the lecture will be about modern attempts of reforming Sunni Islam․

David Hovhannisyan is a civil society, media, peace, and conflict transformation expert, actively involved in various peace-building projects dealing with conflicts in the South Caucasus, Russia, and the Middle East. Professor Hovhannisyan has a first-hand experience in conflict management as a professional diplomat. In 1998 he was appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia as Ambassador at Large and awarded the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary in Syria. One of his most significant roles in the field of peace-building includes his membership to the Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Commission(TARC), aimed at improving Armenian-Turkish relations. Along with the mentioned activities, Professor Hovhannisyan has been engaged in academic work. He is the founder and director of the Center of Civilization and Cultural Studies at Yerevan State University. During the past 15 years, he participated in more than 100 conferences and seminars devoted to conflict resolution, Armenian-Turkish relations, international relations, regional cooperation and security, as well as Arabic and Islamic Studies. He has published several monographs and numerous articles on the mentioned topics as well. Professor Hovhannisyan also worked as a columnist for a number of Armenian periodicals and authored more than 90 articles.