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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Study Direction

I am 3 subjects into an 8 subject Masters but there seemed to be a potential stumbling block in terms of my tentative proposal exploring a reframing of same-sex relationships for helping evangelical Christians (primarily in Australia) to come at the issue from a more wholistic, ethical perspective and not simply from the issue of semantics and hermeneutics.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with the Professor of Theology at Newcastle University, John McDowell. John is Northern Irish and has spent the past few years lecturing at Edinburgh University. At the beginning of this year he took on the role of establishing the new theology department at the university.

John and I got on very well and he is interested in, and supportive of, the basic proposal for a doctoral thesis. I have to stress that it is very early days and we are currently in the process of establishing the best method for me to get on a track that will lead to a PhD thesis.

I will cease my current Masters of Theology because there is not sufficient connection for a transfer. I will commence the Masters at Newcastle Uni specializing in Religious Studies. This is a purely research-based Masters. John has tentatively suggested that I work with Moltmann and Bonhoeffer in formulating an ethical thesis for approaching the issue of supporting and affirming same-sex relationships from a Christian perspective.

I will use the Masters to become more familiar with the nuances of Bonhoeffer's work and then if the research is progressing satisfactorily I will be able to move onto a PhD late next year. I am very excited about these developments and feel God's purposes are being worked out in my life. I have a strong desire to develop a professional academic and teaching role as well as the missional ministry through the pub.

If anyone has significant knowledge of Bonhoeffer or helpful resources please let me know.

Thank you all once again for your love, interest and support.


Steve Hayes said...

I've been attending the Amahoro conference for the last couple of days, and so far there has been hardly any mention of sex and gender, at least not as stand-alone issues. Yet it seems to be quite an important issue in Australia and some other non-African countries.

I'm not familiar with Moltmann, but I don't recall Bonhoeffer saying much about it. Will you find enough for a Masters' dissertation there?

Les said...

Moltmann and Bonhoeffer are hopefully for the purposes of creating theoretical ethical frameworks. I have strong involvement with GLBT Christians and my interest is from an ethical, justice perspective as well as an exegetical direction.

One of Freedom said...

I think you definitely will find resources in both. Of course Moltmann is more of my interest area, but I think that this is a natural connection for any political theology. Sounds like a great direction bro!