Many faithful readers of The Search for Piety and Obedience know that I completed my master’s degree at Temple University in 2012. As part of that degree, I wrote a thesis titled “Born-Again Brethren: History as Identity and Theology in the Cultural Transformation of a ‘Plain People.'” (I blogged about the thesis project here, here, and here.) I also created a digital exhibit — Born-Again Brethren — that delivers some of the essay’s content through text, image, audio, and video.
Since completing the thesis, I’ve been working to develop it into an article suitable for publication in an academic journal like Mennonite Quarterly Review.
This summer, I’m finally going to make good on that goal.
To maintain accountability and help steer this project toward completion, I’m taking a page from my Messiah College colleague John Fea’s book and attempting to document my research and writing process here at the blog. (If you’re wondering why I’d be doing more research for a project that’s already basically written, stay tuned — I have a blog post just for you!)
Each week, I’ll post a new update about my work on the essay. These updates will be a mixed bag: sometimes they’ll be personal reflections on the research/writing process; other times, they’ll be short research notes sharing interesting finds in the archives or questions I’m grappling with. Like John, I hope to walk readers through each step of the process: research, writing, submission, waiting, peer review, etc.
I hope this new series (of sorts) will keep me honest about the work I’m doing (or, perhaps, NOT doing). At the very least, it will give me some regular content with which to update the blog! 🙂