Early Gospels PhD Opportunity at University of Durham

John Byron and Sean Winter have already mentioned this opportunity to work with Francis Watson at the University of Durham. As a Durham grad myself, I second (or rather, third) their recommendation of Durham as a place to live and study!

My AHRC-funded project on “The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals” has aPhD studentship attached that will provide three years worth of home fees (or equivalent) and living expenses in 2013-16. The double focus of the project is on early Christian gospels (canonical and noncanonical) and on gospel reception in the patristic era, which should cater for applicants wishing to work primarily in the New Testament field or in patristics – although some overlap would be likely. I’d be most grateful if colleagues would draw this opening to the attention of current or recent students who may be interested in pursuing a PhD in this area.

The following suggestions illustrate the kind of PhD topic that would fit the terms of the project, but many others are equally possible:

(1)     The Protevangelium of James in its relationship to Matthew and Luke, and its later historical and theological significance.

(2)      Patristic views on gospel origins, from Papias to Augustine.

(3)     The relationship between selected “gnostic” gospels (e.g. Mary,Judas, Philip, etc.) and the canonical ones.

(4)     The construction and purpose of either Marcion’s Luke or Tatian’s Diatessaron.

(5)     Revelatory discourse in John 14-16 and selected “gnostic” gospels.

(6)     The role of writing in the transmission of the early Jesus tradition: how far back does it go?

(7)     Tradition, reception, and the “historical Jesus”.

(8)     Factors involved in the construction of the four-gospel collection.

(9)     The hermeneutical significance of the four gospel collection.

(10)    Public responses to publication of newly discovered gospel literature, c.1890-2012.

Applicants should have a good first degree in theology/religious studies, a completed or a current MA, and experience in the study of the Greek New Testament. Applications will be submitted in the normal way (for which see the Durham Department of Theology and Religion website), specifying the AHRC project studentship. A detailed research proposal will not be essential, although it may be an advantage.Preliminary enquiries may be addressed to Prof Francis Watson(francis.watson@dur.ac.uk). The closing date for applications for this position will be Monday, 25 February 2013, and the successful applicant will be notified in early March.

  • Ian

    10 would be an awesome PhD topic. Wow.


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