Thesis submission

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, submitted his 95 theses to his bishop. This eventually led to the Protestant Reformation. The word ‘thesis’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘position’.  For someone to say that he has a thesis means that he has a clear and firm position regarding a certain matter. Luther had such positions (he had not one, but 95 theses!) and defended them fiercely. The Pope excommunicated him, the Emperor issued a decree which put him under death sentence. Still, he did not move from his position.

Two days ago, I, a PhD student, submitted my thesis to the Registrar’s Office.  Now that I remember what thesis means, I am a bit overwhelmed. Why should the academic world adopt the word ‘thesis’? Perhaps we should find a humbler terminology. While I do have some positions that I sincerely argue for in my thesis, I am obviously not willing to die defending them. I would not insist that spatial variability must be considered in analysis of rainfall-induced landslides under the pain of death! Nor would I risk excommunication for my conviction that uncertainty is important.

Ah well, perhaps I was just thinking too much about my thesis.


2 thoughts on “Thesis submission

Add yours

  1. romantis sekali bu siti, “live and breathe” 🙂
    tau ga bbrp minggu sebelum submit aku sempat mimpi Prof Q bilang thesisnya masih kurang ini dan itu jadi perlu 3 bulan lagi utk perbaikan. Hebatnya, “ini dan itu” nya masuk akal, jadi waktu bangun aku berpikir, apa memang aku perlu mengerjakannya dulu?

    does not the story of Luther enlighten you about the meaning of thesis? I think we use the word too lightly!

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