‘Final’ Thesis Synopsis

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.

Let the Writing Begin…My Blog and My Thesis

After a short spurt, it might look like the blog has once again gone dormant… Actually, I spent the week at my parents house which has the wonderful benefit of being without the internet. I would not like to be permanently without it, but for a week or so it is great to unplug if only a little bit (I still had twitter and email on my phone!).

I continued to write while I was there with the thought I would drop it all on the blog when I got back, but have decided to keep the week’s ponderings to myself.

But today’s post is not about what I wrote, but what will be starting to write…starting Monday the blog will become my place to think out loud about my thesis (US dissertation). After a self imposed break, I am starting year two (started in January of this year but officially now entering my second year) of my thesis currently entitled Embodied Biblical Interpretation and Christian Identity: Galatians 3 & 4 as a Metaphorically Structured Continuum.

After 6 months of researching, outlining,  identifying and developing the key components of my project, it is time to start writing.

In short, my thesis integrates cognitive linguistics’ conception of the metaphorical structure of thought (Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CM) – Lakoff, Johnson, Turner, Fauconnier, etc) with a narrative interpretation of Galatians. The aim is to incorporate CM at the structural level of Paul’s soteriological discourse, to examine how conceptual metaphors lend coherence and structure to Paul’s narrative of Christian identity.

This blog is going to be a place where I ask questions that come with taking my thoughts from theory to real (in this case from my head to the page). And hopefully a place where you will help me sort through these questions critically. Just don’t tell me advisor where all my good ideas came from!

See you Monday (one last weekend of leisure) as we discuss narrative interpretations of Paul.