This page contains my PhD dissertation. You had the broadest education during college (humanities, math, science, etc). Your graduate work then digs into a specific field (theology and ethics). Your seminary doctoral work focuses on specific disciplines (political and theological ethics). Your comprehensive exam proves you’ve mastered your discipline, and mastered a specific area, problem, and figure in that discipline. Once you pass a rigorous multi-day oral and written that tests you on everything, you can submit a prospectus, which is a document that tells your school what your dissertation will be about and what problem it will attempt to solve. Once that is approved, you get to write, revise, and defend your dissertation. 

Your dissertation is designed to show mastery over a specific problem area. Mine addressed a problem called the individuality and universality of the individual and community. It appraised covenant as a marital, political, and ecclesial idea that was scripturally warranted and sufficient to address an important political theological problem. In specific, it refutes a criticism waged by O’Donovan against the general topic, and shows the theopolitical idea of covenant as a better solution to the problem than the one he proposes. 

In short: this is an interactive mapping of my academic work and mind. This is literally a picture of how my brain works.

Soli Deo gloria.

After successfully defending my doctoral dissertation, I was awarded the highest academic degree in my field: a Ph.D. in Theological Studies in Christian Ethics with a concentration in Political Theology (with highest marks). This academic chapter of my life has unfolded over fourteen years of my life. Fourteen years of worship-filled academic labor. Praise the LORD!

The comments redeemed the countless hours of hard work. My PhD mentor went as far as calling it “a stunning masterpiece!” Here were some of the comments I received during my oral exam, as well as a copy of the dissertation:

  1. On Scholarship and Research: 
    • “This was a superb, dare I say superior, dissertation. The research was comprehensive and deep, and the scholarship was impeccable. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to read this dissertation.”
      “Excellent scholarship & research project. Displays awareness of a wide range of relevant scholarship, excellent in-depth interaction with research and overall exemplary research.”
      “Truly excellent in every way.”
  2. Analysis, Evaluation, and Argumentation
    • “The dissertation’s analysis was clear, concise, and right on point. The evaluation and argumentation were impeccable.”
    • “Good analysis of the topic. Leonard shows developed skills of evaluation and he even-handedly explores O’Donovan’s thoughts, offering balanced critiques and argumentation with helpful proposals.”
    • “Both thorough extensive and at the highest possible level.”
  3. Clarity, Style, Grammar, and Form
    • “I have had the opportunity to read my fair share of dissertations, and this was one of the best that I have had the privilege to read in terms of clarity and style. The form was clear and concise, and the grammar was enviable.”
    • “Writing, style, grammar and form are excellent in every way. Only 1 mistyped sentence in 533 pages.”
  4. Overall Evaluation
    • “Of the more than fourscore dissertations I have read in my academic career, I would put Leonard Goenaga’s dissertation in the top five. He has made a major contribution to the field. This dissertation will spark a great deal of discussion in scholarly circles concerning covenants, their importance, and how they can be utilized to clarify and provide foundational support to Protestant and Evangelical social theory and analysis.”
    • “Overall, an excellent project that is clearly the result of much time and thought. Leonard has met and exceeded expectation of a doctoral thesis.”
    • “A stunning masterpiece!”

Covenant and Constitution: An Appraisal of Covenant as an Ecclesial, Marital, and Political Idea