The conclusion we managed to come to yesterday is that I like apologia a lot. Apologia being treatises written for a pagan Roman audience by early Christians as defences of their faith. This would also extend to defence speeches given by Christians on trial, like the one Stephen gave in Acts; and to 'dialogues', hypothetical exchanges written between a representative of Rome (a pagan, in other words) and a Christian with a view to explaining and defending the faith. Rick thinks I could pretty much write 20,000 words on this; I however, am less optimistic. Ideally, if I spent about six thousand words on the prelude (intro, methodology, history of scholarship) and conclusion, that would give me 14,000 words for the body of the thesis.
With that in mind, I've decided to list all the apologia literature here that I could talk about in 14,000 words.
New Testament: the Gospels (for the trial of Jesus), Acts (Stephen and Paul on trial)
Apologies/Trial Defences in the Ante-Nicene Fathers
* Most, if not all of the Acta (Matthew, Peter, John, etc.)
* The Martyrdom of Polycarp
* The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas
* Tertullian, Apologeticus pro Christianis, Ad Nationes
* Minucius Felix, Octavius
* Justin Martyr, First Apology (addressed to Emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus), Second Apology (addressed to the senate of Rome)
*Athenagoras of Athens, Embassy for the Christians (addressed to Emperor Marcus Aurelius)
*Lactantius, De Opificio Dei, De Mortibus Persecutorum
On second thought, I suppose I could plausibly write 14,000 words about the texts in that list. Provided Rick decides that this list doesn't need any further narrowing down, of course (and I sincerely hope it doesn't).
God, this stuff is giving me a headache already and I haven't even started writing yet. Already looking forward to the day I hand it in.
And now on a completely unrelated note (so to lighten up this heavily academic-themed entry), something I want to rec for the Doctor Who fans on the flist, if they haven't seen it yet: This awesome webcomic, 'The Ten Doctors'. I've been reading it for the past few months now, and I just love the artwork and the dialogue. Go forth and read it! You won't be disappointed.