On May 10, a scientific conference dedicated to the 104th anniversary of the restoration of Georgia's state independence was opened at Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary. The conference was prepared at the initiative of the Department of History of Georgia: under the chairmanship of the Head of the Department, Doctor of History and Theology, Professor Sergo Vardosanidze and Doctor of History Durmishkhan Lashkhi. The conference was chaired by Professor Sergo Vardosanidze, Doctor of History and Theology. In his opening speech, he spoke about the importance of the Student’s Conference in the dimension of training personnel working on theological sciences. Professor Vardosanidze noted that the 104th anniversary of the Restoration of Georgia’s Independence does not seem to be a jubilee date at all, because its greatness and scale constantly reminds us, obligates us to understand the essence and significance of this event. Mr. Sergo Vardosanidze explained that the restoration of Georgia’s independence is the culmination of the important struggle that Ilia Chavchavadze launched in the 60s of the 19th century in order to restore the country’s cultural and national autonomy and autocephaly of the Church. It is true that Ilia was killed on August 30, 1907, but nevertheless, his ideas did not remain unfulfilled: on March 12, 1917, the clergy of the Church assembled in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the autocephaly of the Church was restored and patriarchal rule of the Church was inaugurated.
On February 8, 1918, the university was opened and in the same year, the plan of Saint Ilia the Righteous was fulfilled - on May 26, the independence of the country was proclaimed in the Palace of the Governor of Georgia.
The doctorate student Giorgi Gvasalia gave an interesting speech at the conference. The title of the topic was The Messianic Prophecy of the Prophet Moses in the Jewish and Christian tradition.
Students of Master’s degree (Academy) and Bachelor (Seminar) programs, Faculty of Christian Psychology, Christian Art, Restoration of Easel and Monumental Icon Painting of TTAS also participated in the conference. The issues studied and discussed by the students were thematically diverse – they were related to the most important issues of the history of Georgia, Christian culture and the history of the Church.
The conference was held in a business atmosphere and aroused great interest among the listeners.
At the end of the conference, the Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Doctor of Philology, Theology and Politics, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze addressed the audience. He thanked the organizers of the conference, the students participating in the event, their supervisors and the attending audience, and noted that Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary is a higher theological, scientific and educational center, the bosom of spirituality and knowledge. It is a place where, along with the acquisition of higher education, students acquire knowledge of the saving faith and this unique situation sets it apart from other institutions.
On the advice of the Rector of the Theological Academy and Seminary, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze, a decision was made to continue the conference on Tuesday, May 17, in order to deepen its work.
The names of the participants of the first day of the conference and the titles of their talks can be found below:
Master’s Program in Theology (Academy)
1. Juba Tomadze – The Orthodox Church in Kartli during the Period of Rostom Khan (Rostom Khan’s policy concerning the Orthodox Church)
(Supervisor - Professor, Metropolitan Anania Japaridze)
2. Zurab Akobia – The Ecclesiastical Assembly in Imereti in 1759 (Supervisor - Professor, Metropolitan Anania Japaridze)
3. Priest Giorgi Tandilashvili – The Title of the Church of Georgia (Supervisor - Professor, Metropolitan Anania Japaridze)
4. Besik Gamqhrelidze - Issues of Illegitimacy of the Establishment of a Diocese by the Church of Russia on the Territory of Armenia (Supervisor - Professor Sergo Vardosanidze)
Faculty of Christian Arts
1. Manana Tsenteradze - Saint George Church in Achi (Supervisor- Professor Eldar Bubulashvili)
Faculty of Icon Painting, Easel and Monumental Icon Restoration
1. Tamar Ratiani - Materials Concerning the Wall Painting of Akhali Shuamta Temple and Analysis of Current Non-primary Processes (Supervisors - Professor Merab Buchukuri, Professor Murad Tkemaladze).