31 August 2009

A City of Completed Projects

In her delightful book (I’m accustomed to thinking of her as a ‘her’, and I’ve no doubt that’s what she prefers), Oxford, rev. ed. (Oxford: Oxford U, 1988), Jan Morris refers to the eponymous town as ‘a city of uncompleted projects’ (p. 73), where every ‘worthy records . . . an ill-defined malaise that unhappily prevented the completion of his commentary on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians’ (p. 71). I have heard independent confirmation that this is true of England’s most scholarly city. But I’m happy to announce that, despite its humid climate, Oklahoma City by contrast has treated me well. It certainly has its own distractions, not the least of which are, in my case, a wife and two little kids, most of my living family (within a 2-hour drive), and nearly twenty years worth of friends, apart from the usual continuous diversion of the Internet and the beckoning blog I have begotten. But despite all of this, I am happy to announce that as of this afternoon, I have completed the first draft of my master’s thesis, entitled, ‘Reading Imaginative Literature: A Study in Orthodox Moral Theology’ (in Greece they seem to go for plain titles—no plays on words or fancy lines of poetry). It is a feat I might not have accomplished had I found myself with many another unfortunate in ‘that sweet city of dreaming spires’ rather than here, in the place God put me. I’ll be accepting congratulatory comments over the next day or so. Gifts of books are also welcome. (For some years, I’ve occasionally added to a small wish list here. One can follow with amusement some of the little kicks I’ve been on!)


Kevin P. Edgecomb said...



Now you can sleep for three days.

Andrea Elizabeth said...

And let me be the second to offer mine. Thanks for sharing some of your studies with us, and may the rewards of your efforts be richly bestowed.

David Robles said...

Wow! This is quite a triumph, considering all your obligations.
Is your dissertation available for the general public? I mean, will it be, eventually?

Aaron Taylor said...

Thank you, my friends!

David> I'm fairly certain that I'll be able to make it available one way or another. Actually, if it's possible, I'd really like to publish it!

Ochlophobist said...


I think you might just be able to find an Orthodox publisher. Surely.

Ivan said...

By the way, the guy from Oxford whose name I had been trying to remember was Oliver O'Donavan. In your work on moral theology, have you come across him much?

Ivan said...

Oh, yes -- congratulations! And I say that knowing first-hand how much work a project of that size takes to reach to the draft stage. Well done.

Aaron Taylor said...

Ivan> Welcome to my blog, and thank you very much for your kind words!

Unfortunately, I'm afraid I had NOT heard of O'Donovan. I'm probably much more familiar with philosophical ethics than with Protestant or Catholic moral theology. The book on self-love in St Augustine sounds quite interesting though!

Anonymous said...


Love in Christ,