Taking stock

It appears that the current dissertation draft only needs minor revisions, which I’ve agreed to do by August 15th. At this point, a Chapter 6 seems unnecessary to make the pedagogical point that I wanted to make; I can do it instead with an extended conclusion. After that, it goes to the committee.

I keep hitting snags with the prose rhythm revision. It’s hard to keep motivation on something that felt ‘done’ a year and a half ago and now feels like ‘done 1.532’. But if this job extends beyond next week, I might as well abandon it, and I am completely unwilling to do that. It will go out.

I have been thinking that if the dissertation continues to shape up, I should start to plan another large project. I have several ideas.

One idea would be to write a more detailed account of Origen’s conception of communication, an account far more detailed than the survey I gave in Chapter 1. The amount of detail and translation involved would be book-length, easily.

Another is to take the original idea for Chapter 6, exploring a pedagogical approach to teaching the gospels as rhetoric, and write a definitive review that contrasts composition’s approach to religion with the cultural pedagogy of other insitutions of American religious education. I have seen several articles and books, as well as a dissertation or two, that have moved in this direction, but no one has went gonzo, so to speak, on it.

I could also continue to spit out article-length case studies. There are problems with Luke-Acts authorship that need exploring, as well as Luke’s knowledge of topoi, and I have been thinking about a piece on Luke’s motivation for writing. A strong rhetorical take on the disciples in Mark is needed, too.

Another idea would be to examine the use of religious citations by certain contemporary political figures in their autobiographies. I have one fellow in mind in particular – not Bush. I think it would make for a really interesting little article, especially if I poked around to see if such usage was common.

I’ll be in a better place to make the decision on what to do next after this July revision is done and the dissertation is out to the committee, of course.

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