I am currently preparing for the final checkpoint of my PhD program. One of the expectations is to be able to explain your thesis in a couple of sentences. I thought I would share the ‘final’ synopsis of my thesis:
My thesis examines the narrative context of ‘huiothesia’ (adoption as sons) in Paul’s letters through the lens of Conceptual Metaphor Theory drawing the conclusion that ‘huiothesia’ is primarily a participatory and ecclesiological metaphor. The thesis includes a review of major works on Paul’s use of ‘huiothesia’, a discussion of Conceptual Metaphor Theory and its importance for hermeneutics, an investigation of the origins of Paul’s metaphorical usage of ‘huiothesia’, a conceptual and contextual interpretation of the relevant passages in Paul’s letters (Gal 4:5; Rom 8:15, 23; 9:4; Eph 1:5), and an evaluation of the participatory and ecclesiological nature of the metaphor and the ramifications for Pauline theology.
And for fun (and to encourage all those feeling lost in the pursuit of a PhD) I thought I would also share my initial attempt at a synopsis:
My thesis integrates cognitive linguistics’ conception of the metaphorical structure of thought (conceptual metaphor theory) with a narrative interpretation of Paul. By incorporating conceptual metaphor theory at the structural level of Paul’s narrative, I examine how conceptual metaphors lend coherence and structure to Paul’s narration of Christian identity in Galatians.
My advice for those lost in the world of disserting (is that a word?) is to keep digging, the idea is in there somewhere. Because if I can go from the second synopsis (I can’t even tell you what it means!) to the first synopsis anyone can.
Now, back to work. This thing isn’t going to write itself.