The religion graduate faculty at Baylor today officially approved my dissertation prospectus (a ten page write-up containing history of research, justification, and methodology for the study, along with a twelve page bibliography). The current title of the project is as follows: Jacob and the Divine Trickster: A Theology of Deception and YHWH’s Faithfulness to the Ancestral Promise in the Jacob Cycle. This is a big step, not least of which is because I can now officially start writing the dissertation and officially call myself ABD, but also because some folk (a surprisingly high amount, actually) take an entire semester or even upwards of a year to complete the prospectus. I am thankful it was approved unanimously, with no dissenting votes. That, I take, as a commendation of the project.
In terms of the dissertation writing itself, I plan to have the introduction (an expansion of the prospectus) done by the end of next week, the first full chapter (an expansion of my upcoming SBL paper in New Orleans; see HERE) approximately two weeks after that. I am aiming to have the entire project DONE in time for a March 2010 defense and May 2010 graduation. That is admittedly an aggressive goal, but I do think it is attainable. Worst case scenario, it would get pushed back to a May 2010 defense and August 2010 graduation. Either way, I am pleased there is only one more step until I am officially Dr. Anderson. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
It is also fitting, I think, that this post . . . . is my 100th post!