I had my 12 month review meeting with John and Loren just after the Michaelmas term ended. Some received a mini-viva atmosphere, but my meeting was pretty laid back. It seems that as with the 6 month review, this meeting was as important to make sure that John and Loren were on the same page with me. Loren and I have met a couple of times together recently, and we plan to meet at least monthly, which he requested. While his particular expertise is not in my literature area (patristics), his perspective on divine-human relationships is great. From stories about other secondary supervisors, Loren seems to go above and beyond with time invested.
I defended the change in my outline, and it was well received. After talking to numbers of people about my research at SBL, I found myself talking about my research in a particular manner that seemed to better communicate my point than my previous outline had. Specifically, I had originally placed my Paul chapters before my patristic chapters. But my goal is a refreshed reading of Paul in light of questions developed from reading the patristic authors. So rhetorically, it would be better to not give away (hopefully) the most interesting part of my thesis early, and remove the impetus to read the patristic chapters. So, I proposed to have the patristic chapters first, which makes so much sense now I can’t imagine doing it the other way.
I was also officially upgraded from MLitt to PhD student status. This seemed like a mere formality. In fact, Durham has moved away from the MLitt to PhD process beginning this year, and all new incoming PhD students are automatically PhD students. However, the upgrade process is now replaced by the 6, 12, and 18 month reviews.
I suppose the other thing John brought up was the need to further develop my argumentation around the idea of theological interpretation of scripture since my work falls broadly into that category. I’ve only just started reading in the area and he mentioned a forthcoming book (by John Riches, I think) that he thought would be helpful.