The present e-book comprises three lectures and one essay. The author, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, former President of Georgia is well known in Georgia and beyond its borders as the leader of the national-liberation movement, a scholar, writer, and champion of culture.
The lectures deal with questions of theology, mythology, ethnology, hermeneutics, and history of religion. At first sight the author's style of thinking may seem unusual to the reader, yet it is safe to say that it marks a new development in Georgian scholarship. Its significance is enhanced by the need, at this time of national revival, of showing the genuine essence of freedom, and of taking the right path in the search for a contemporary interpretation of Christianity.
Here is what one of our contemporaries wrote about the first lecture: "The extensive paper, entitled "The Spiritual Mission of Georgia", presented by Zviad Gamsakhurdia in 1990, at the large concert hall of the Tbilisi Philharmonic House was a culmination of the Idriart Festival. The interest evoked by the lecture was so great that the foreign guests (from Germany, Switzerland, Britain, the USA, and other countries) specially met the author on the following day to discuss the crucial developments in the chronicle of Georgian life, their spiritual essence and the specific impact of these events both on the pagan and on the Christian worlds. This lecture, delivered at the Idriart Festival, completely changed our morale by bringing a revived Christian impulse into our march to freedom".
The second lecture, "The Praise and Glorification of the Georgian Language", was presented at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. It was published earlier in the Tsiskari magazine (N 3, 1987).
The third lecture, "The Spiritual Ideals of the Gelati Academy", was delivered by the author at the Lado Meskhishvili Drama Theatre in Kutaisi. In the words of some Kutaisians the lecture "reminded us of the genuinely enlightened Kutaisi - dimmed early in this century - and transferred us there for a couple of hours".
The essay "Konstantine Gamsakhurdia and Christianity" was read by the author in a narrow circle of friends, as he was not permitted to present it at Konstantine Gamsakhurdia's anniversary session in 1983.
The subject matter presented in this e-book forms a single whole, reflecting the stages of Georgian spiritual self-knowledge and defining the role and significance of the Georgian ethnos in the shaping of the universal principles of civilization.
Mr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was born in Tbilisi in 1939, the son of a widely popular writer Konstantine Gamsakhurdia. When still at school he was arrested for his patriotic and antidictatorship activities. In 1976 the Helsinki Group of Georgia (now Helsinki Union), - was established under his leadership. The Group published the illegal periodic Okros Satsmisi (Golden Fleece) and Sakartvelos Moambe (Georgian Herald). The editor of them was Z. Gamsakhurdia.
In 1977 the members of the Helsinki groups were arreste4d all over the Soviet Union and A. Gamsakhurdia with them. In 1978 the United States Congress proposed Z. Gamsakhurdia as a candidate for the Nobel Prize of Peace, together with other members of Helsinki organizations in the former Soviet Union. On his release from prison in 1979 he continued his political activities. Z. Gamsakhurdia is one of the main organizers and active participants of all the protest acts held in Georgia.
In late 1989 Z. Gamsakhurdia greatly contributed to working out the law of the multiparty elections, its adoption and its realization.
On the 28th of October, 1990, an absolute majority of Georgia's population supported the Mrgvali Magida (Round Table) political organization and its acknowledged leader Z. Gamsakhurdia, and at the first National Parliamentary Session he was unanimously elected Chairman of the Georgian Supreme Council.
In 1991 the Supreme Council elected him President of Georgia, which was confirmed by the nationwide election held on May26, 1991. Besides his political activities he was a writer and translator, a philosopher and theologian. He was married and had three sons.
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