Friday, 14 December 2012

PhD studentship “The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals”

The AHRC-funded project on “The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals” has a
PhD studentship attached that will provide three years worth of home
fees (or equivalent) and living expenses in 2013-16. The double focus
of the project is on early Christian gospels (canonical and
noncanonical) and on gospel reception in the patristic era, which
should cater for applicants wishing to work primarily in the New
Testament field or in patristics – although some overlap would be
likely. I’d be most grateful if colleagues would draw this opening to
the attention of current or recent students who may be interested in
pursuing a PhD in this area.

The following suggestions illustrate the kind of PhD topic that would
fit the terms of the project, but many others are equally possible:

(1) The Protevangelium of James in its relationship to Matthew and
Luke, and its later historical and theological significance.
(2) Patristic views on gospel origins, from Papias to Augustine.
(3) The relationship between selected “gnostic” gospels (e.g. Mary,
Judas, Philip, etc.) and the canonical ones.
(4) The construction and purpose of either Marcion’s Luke or Tatian’s
(5) Revelatory discourse in John 14-16 and selected “gnostic” gospels.
(6) The role of writing in the transmission of the early Jesus
tradition: how far back does it go?
(7) Tradition, reception, and the “historical Jesus”.
(8) Factors involved in the construction of the four-gospel
(9) The hermeneutical significance of the four gospel collection.
(10) Public responses to publication of newly discovered gospel
literature, c.1890-2012.

Applicants should have a good first degree in theology/religious
studies, a completed or a current MA, and experience in the study of
the Greek New Testament. Applications will be submitted in the normal
way (for which see the Durham Department of Theology and Religion
website), specifying the AHRC project studentship. A detailed research
proposal will not be essential, although it may be an advantage.
Preliminary enquiries may be addressed to Prof Francis Watson
( The closing date for applications for this
position will be Monday, 25 February 2013, and the successful
applicant will be notified in early March.

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