Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Panel Review UPDATE

So the panel review (middle of May) went okay. I had my supervisor (Dr. Deborah F. Sawyer - religion and gender, biblical studies and contemporary culture), Dr. Paul Fletcher (continental philosophy, modern theology, political theology) and Professor Chris Partridge (new religions, alternative spiritualities, occulture) - so a useful mixture of points of view.

I had hoped that it would be useful for my dilemma researching truth and representing research as truth. But it was unclear the extent to which the panel agreed that this is a question which will come up in my viva or is a problem of my own creation! We'll see. At least I can say that I have thought about the potential disjuncture between the theories of truth I am reflecting on and the theory of truth I am using in that very reflection!

I was grilled by Paul (rightly) about whether or not I am approaching the emerging church milieu and the work of Jack Caputo with the same level of critical judgment as I am approaching emerging church critics, critics of postmodernism, and some of the other theologies and philosophies I am using (Radical Orthodoxy, for example). I think a lot of my critical distance is going to come out as I start writing up (at which I am WAY behind schedule - not having completed transcribing yet!), framing the UK emerging church milieu within contemporary sociological theory and theorising a bit more on it as a social phenomenon.

And Chris asked to what extent I was taking ecclesiology into consideration in my discussion of emerging church epistemology, as there is a complex interrelationship between the two (which I agree). I'm not particularly interested in ecclesiology (sorry - leave that to the majority of the other postgraduates researching the emerging church) but where I do draw connections between ecclesiology and epistemology will be in the first chapter where I introduce the reader to the UK emerging church milieu.

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