Dissertation Progress: An Update

Most of you are aware that I am at the dissertation stage of the Ph.D. program in Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible/OT) at Baylor.  Most, though, have no idea how that’s all going for me.  Well, here’s a bit of an update . . . .

The dissertation title, at present, is as follows: “Jacob and the Divine Trickster: A Theology of Deception and YHWH’s Faithfulness to the Ancestral Promise in the Jacob Cycle.”  For an idea of where I’m going with this all, see HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and some HERE.

My one page proposal, offering my legitimation of the topic and a thumbnail sketch of the project, was approved in June.  And just today I received an email notifying me that my prospectus (10 page history of research, methodology, and outline of the dissertation, along with a 12 page bibliography) has been approved by the biblical area faculty and is going to the entire religion graduate faculty at their meeting on August 19th for formal approval.  I anticipate (and hope) approval will happen.  Your prayers that it indeed does will be very much appreciated!

Introducing My Dissertation Committee!


W.H. Bellinger, Jr.
Chair of the Religion Dept., Baylor University
Director of the dissertation





James Nogalski
Professor of OT, Baylor University
One of the foremost experts on the Book of the Twelve
Second Reader




The third member of the committee must be someone outside the religion department; I’m not terribly picky here, and will likely go with someone from literature given my methodology is a literary reading of the biblical text. 

Before classes start at the end of this month, I plan to have the first chapter (the introduction) drafted and handed off to the committee.  Whew!

(And, to any prospective employers who may be reading . . . . . I’m on the job hunt!!  Email: j_anderson at baylor.edu).

So what do you think?

15 thoughts on “Dissertation Progress: An Update

  1. Roy "Eli" Garton says:

    Writing a disseration, teaching “your” first class, actively seeking employment for next fall, writing a top-rated blog, and a family man to boot . . . sounds like John Anderson is a busy man!! Stay sane, mein freund!

    • John Anderson says:

      I’m just encouraging, I’m not making! Though, Roy, you would look very nice in a pair of long dangly earrings. Perhaps my wife can design a pair for you?

      Actually (off topic), I’m very glad our wives have hit it off. I do think they enjoy one another.

  2. Michael says:

    Very exciting times, John! I’d hire you right now, on the spot. Thus, all prospective employers should do the same! (You know who you are! Email this man!)

  3. Rob Kashow says:

    John, you mention having a chapter before classes begin. Are you stll taking classes? Haven’t your recently passed your comps? Isn’t comps after coursework? Or are you simply talking about the beginning of classes for Baylor (though you wont’ be taking any).

  4. John Anderson says:

    Rob: You are right, I am not taking classes; comps are passed. But, I am teaching my own course this Fall. So yes, I am talking about the beginning of classes at Baylor. I trust I will always be living my life by semesters!!

    Matt: Thanks for your kind words! May I ask, what do you think sounds so “cool”? I’m not disagreeing at all that it is indeed a very cool topic (and one I am still keeping quite close to my chest), I’m just curious always as to how others perceive it.

    Michael: You, Rob, and I will have to do lunch one of the days, if our schedules allow it. You can interview me then. And hopefully others with more to offer than you will follow suit!

    • John Anderson says:

      That is hilarious, Michael! If you promise I won’t go to hell for doing it . . . .

      Actually, now that I think of it, I’m just impressed you’re actually planning to have a Hebrew Bible with you at the meeting! Nice. I surely won’t have my Nestle-Aland!

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