Tuesday, September 01, 2009

External Examiner News

Also whilst we were away in Andalucia, I got the news from my supervisor, Deborah Sawyer, that Gerard Loughlin has provisionally agreed to be the external examiner for my viva, barring natural disasters and the like. Gerard is a Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. He likes telling stories and sex. Okay, so, slightly overfamiliar way of putting that... but you followed those links, didn't you?!? He's co-editor (with Elizabeth Stuart) of Theology & Sexuality. His doctoral research was on the philosophy and theology of John Hick (who features briefly, one might say fragmentally, in my thesis). He's a fan of interdisciplinarity, or "cross-dressing," as he puts it, so my positioning within philosophy, theology and religious studies (particularly the sociology of religion) is a location with which he is familiar. His research interests (Christianity, gender, sexuality, popular culture) clearly overlap with my own (both displayed in my thesis and in my MA studies on LGBT religiosity), but its his emphasis on narrative theology that is a particular reason he will be a really interesting dialogue partner (if that is what the viva experience actually is, rather than what it is just sold to us as!!!). My Chaper Six, "Truth, Theology and Fictionality" will hopefully be something he can sink his teeth into - but not too hard, I hope! He'll be a fantastic guy to (hopefully) get a reference from, particularly if I get to apply for research funding at Manchester with Graham Ward. Finally, Deborah says he's a really nice guy... Always, always, always a bonus.

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