Thursday, October 30, 2008

Application to Uni Durham for PhD Studies

After being encouraged by many people for the last couple of years to pursue PhD studies I finally found a program and an institution that fits my needs and research interests. Yesterday I took the initial steps for an online application to the University of Durham in their Theology and Religion Department. Over the course of the next two weeks I will compile the follow up documentation to be sent to complete the review of my application.
I have proposed a research degree that looks at the significant yet neglected aspect of sacred narrative within Mormonism that will provide for a better understanding of that faith within the lives of its adherents. I would also like to argue that it seems to be a missing dimension in Mormon-evangelical dialogue.
As I have mentioned previously, I have exchanged a few emails with Douglas Davies about this possibility and he has expressed his appreciation for sacred narrative within Mormonism as a topic for academic research and possible supervision of this topic. Davies is the author of two books on Mormonism, including An Introduction to Mormonism (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and The Mormon Culture of Salvation (Ashgate, 2000).
My applicaiton for PhD studies represents a significant step of faith in that I will have to raise the funds for tuition, $10,000 U.S. each year over the course of up to six years part-time study.


James F. McGrath said...

Durham is wonderful - the city is beautiful and I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the theology department when I studied there. I hope it goes well!

aquinas said...

Great and exciting news John! Good luck and best wishes.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Just come accross your blog looking for references to tribalism in youth culture.

I am currently preparing a slightly left-field paper on neotribalism as it applies to autistic culture, in effect describing us as the newly discovered tribes ripe for academic anthropological plunder, with a slightly dissaproving slant on that.

I have seen some of your earlier posts and am trying to construct your christian perspective. I see culture and identity pretty much as constructs and not unitary at all, in that I tend to model the world in a quasi mathematical way (the sin of having been an economics student many years ago) in that notion of set theary of cultural identity being a series of unions, intersections and containments within the greater set of "society" with multiple cleavages of ethnicity, gender, class, religious or cultural affiliations etc....

We are all, even the most autistic of us mutable beings in that our identity is modelled from outside in our interface and intersections with others.

Indeed the practices of "the Church" indeed even the early church could be seen in this light, yep many Mansions indeed.

John the evangelist apart, the study of the world is the study of theology, for it is the study of God's creation is it not? though I suspect there are some things we are not meant to know, that our cognition will allow us to know.

John Drane said...

Sounds good to me. Olive and I are Visiting Fellows of St Johns College, Durham and also friends of Douglas Davies (who was a student at St Johns!). We'll look forward to catching up with you there in person. And you'll enjoy Douglas: as well as having an encyclopedic knowledge of Mormonism, he's also full of fun.

Steve Hayes said...

I'm glad you chose my alma mater -- not that any of the academics I knew are still likely to be there, but I enjoyed my time there.

Iterations said...

You've chosen a good place, up to a few years ago at least Durham was ranked 3rd in the UK for theology research.

I am in the Uk and thinking of part time Phd and it still daunting to finance so don't envy you atall paying an overseas rate.

I have Davies' Anthropology and Theology and have tried a few times to read it with no joy.

John W. Morehead said...

Thanks, Richard. I've heard good things about Uni Durham, and have appreciated both Davies' work and that of others connected with Durham. I am applying by faith when it comes to the tuition costs. We'll see how the application is received and then I'll worry about raising the tuition costs.

Sally said...

Durham is beautiful, my daughter plays for Durham Sinfonia, if you do end up there it would be great to meet you.