Advice about a student of mine

john at john at
Sat Mar 1 09:30:41 UTC 2008

Dear Funknetters,
I'm writing to you all for advice about an MA student of mine, Sandy Habib,
who is just finishing up his thesis and thinking about where to study for
his Ph.D. He is an absolutely outstanding student--he received our department's
award for best linguistics student last year--and he is a Maronite and
a very serious Catholic. He wants to combine linguistics and religious
studies in his career, addressing controversial issues in the Church but
from a linguistically sophisticated point of view. He has always maintained
that he wants to get his doctorate in linguistics, not theology, but
he wants to address theological issues, at least in part, in his research.
I don't know how to advise him. I suggested he apply to Georgetown
because it was the only place I could think of where both linguistics and
Catholic religious studies are taken seriously, but they didn't even accept
him in the linguistics department in spite of his outstanding record, with the
only explanation being that maybe he should apply to the religion department--
but it's clear that in terms of intellectual approach he fits linguistics
more than religion. He's now applying to Lancaster to study CDA (this
was his idea) but I'm concerned he is going to have zero contact with
religious scholars there. If any of you have some suggestions about how
Sandy might complete his studies so as to combine his interests, I would
very much appreciate your input. I'm really clueless about this.

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