Looking back to look forward

By Simon Barrow
June 19, 2013

Every year Ekklesia contributors, and especially our associate Dr Harry Hagopian, reflect on the historical crime of the 1915-23 Armenian genocide, a tragedy which illustrates all-too-well the contemporary resonance and impact of difficult history.

These events, if not exactly hidden from history, have been overlooked (deliberately so) in the catalogue of horrors that make up a significant portion of the twentieth century.

The philosopher Peter Singer has recently argued that, demographically and statistically, war and conflict has been declining in the world in modern times. That may be true in terms of numbers, and for the portion of the planet who live in comparative affluence. As an overall judgement, it raises many questions, however – not least ones about who makes such judgments, what weight history carries, what prospects exist for a more meaningfully peaceful future, and how the stories of those like the Armenians (and millions who have lost their lives in a stunning 500+ conflagrations since World War II) feature in – and beyond – our arithmetic.

In 2013 we are a little behind with our marking of the Armenian Genocide. But we are extremely grateful to Harry for providing the opportunity to publish a moving, personal, profoundly Christian (yet also politically aware) piece by Ara Iskanderian, entitled 'Remembrance, forgiveness, transformation: the Armenian Genocide'. You can read it in full here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18569

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia.

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