Last week I heard from Lambeth Palace that I had been awarded the Archbishop's Degree of Master of Arts (MA) by Thesis for my dissertation A Church in Every Workshop? The Economic, Physical and Social Location of the Early Pauline Communities. I will be graduating on Monday 6 June at Lambeth Palace at an event hosted by the Archbishop himself (very exciting!)
I am naturally delighted that the 50,000 words I produced was deemed worthy of the award, delighted too that I do not need to make any major revisions to the dissertation ahead of getting bound and lodged in the Lambeth Palace library! It will, however, be interesting to see what my examiners have made of the argument.
In many ways, it is the academic underpinning of the book that came out last month, The World of the Early Church (Lion Hudson), though it takes a slightly more definite line on the presence of wealthier members of Roman society (they were few and far between) and argues that the typical Pauline community - probably the overwhelming majority of the groups he planted around the empire - met in workshops or the living spaces behind or above them.