Tuesday, January 05, 2010

PhD Seminar - Winter 2010. My Last One!

On April 9th I'm scheduled to present my Project Proposal, at which time the University sends me off to write my thesis. What a long haul this has been! But good, I think ultimately the process has been a good one. The key at this point is to identify what do I have the passion to sustain study on long enough to produce a new contribution to my field in? I have been thinking a lot about public and private spheres and the construction of self-identity. I think that is going to be pivotal for my research. But it could also simply reflect my ramping up for some good Taylor discussion. Focus, focus, focus.

I just received the official seminar schedule, we start off with preparing for the comprehensive exams - I've already written these so I'm tempted to come late for that one. But the bulk of the sessions look like they are concerned with this whole idea of process. I think that will help, in order to structure my time I will definitely need to develop a process specific to my research. Along those lines I've been thinking a lot about methodology.

I want to us a dialectic methodology. That is I want to put one school of thought in conversation with another. Specifically I want to put political theology (via Moltmann and possibly Pannenberg) in conversation with conservative evangelical Kingdom of God theology. I think Russell Moore's The Kingdom of Christ lays out what I'm talking about in terms of Kingdom theology, that will be my starting point. What I think I need are a small set of questions to animate the conversation. That means I'll spend a bit of time outlining my intentions and the players, and then I will be posing those questions to each body of theological inquiry. From there I will attempt to see how each of these conversation partners will respond to the approaches of the other partner. Hence, creating a conversation. A good example of this is Moltmann's dialectic style of theology. He is really good at letting the partners have a fair say even before he brings in the next voice. Hopefully I can limit the voices so that the project does not get out of hand. But my intuition is that such a conversation will at least identify some key insights that can be used in the creation of a Conservative Evangelical Political Theology.


Jason Coker said...

I wrote about your comments on Tony Jones blog concerning the Vineyard over at jasoncoker.net. Would love your further perspective.

byron smith said...

I think I've mentioned this before, but since I have a memory like a sieve, I can't remember your answer and I'll be rude and ask again: have you had much of a chance to look at Oliver O'Donovan's work on an evangelical political theology?

One of Freedom said...

I did read some O'Donovan but I did not find it accessible. At the time I was sampling a broad range of political theologies so I didn't stick with some of them more than long enough to get a basic idea of what they are doing.