December 2007

Just after my 12 month review, I also had my 10 year review, or rather, anniversary.  Heather and I have had 10 great years.  We’re on the same page and no need to upgrade–we’re already on the right path!  Thanks Heather.  I’ll always love you!

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.


So maybe my prior post was a little premature.  I am still working on my Irenaeus chapter.  I’ve got it drafted but I need to cut it down by a couple of thousand words and add a section at the end.  True editing is time consuming but helpful.  It is crazy how much slack was still in the chapter even after being edited before.  The other project of the past few weeks has been reading more in the French and German sources.  In the midst of this, we had discussions about PhD study space and a trip to Tyndale House (Cambridge).  My parents have arrived for a visit, so the pace of life is slower and I have more time and energy to write.  Hopefully, I’ll post more than once a month.  Happy Christmas.

Sorry for the blogging hiatus.  Jet lag knocked me out when I came back from SBL and then demands of my time for my current chapter have also caught up with me.  But I’ll jump back into the blogging world again soon.  However, it is iteresting how much time I found that I spent blogging and reading blogs.  It’s definitely a useful task, but it’s also been good to have a break.