The meeting with my supervisors came and went, and it was both trying and illuminating. It was trying because both of my supervisors (Andrew Lincoln and Lloyd Pietersen) are deeply knowledgeable men and the calibre of work that they expect is quite high. While I admit that these meetings are at times mentally exhausting for me, they are absolutely worth it because I know that Andrew and Lloyd are wanting the best for me and from me. The meeting was illuminating because we think we have come to a conclusion regarding my research topic.
Prior to this most recent meeting, the plan was to do an overarching survey of Paul’s understanding of how the Spirit shapes community identity and ethics. For roughly three months, that was the focus of my investigations and I was trying to find points of entry and relevance for that particular issue. However, over the past few months, we’ve come to see that such a topic would not only be too massive for a PhD thesis, it would also be difficult to say much that is revolutionary in light of the work already done by people like Gordon Fee or Wolfgang Schrage.
As a result, we concluded that an overly specific study of a particular text was the best way to go. The text in question is 1 Corinthians 2, which, while having been dealt with in the major commentaries, has plenty room for growth and further explorations. My task for the next few weeks (which really began almost two weeks ago) is to survey recent scholarship on this particular chapter and find my point of entry–i.e. see if there are things that are not being discussed either at all or with much detail. I have already stumbled across a couple of ideas that might be fruitful, but I will have to wait until I’m done with my reading before I say anything more.