Nathan Lyons is philosophical about his next academic career move after graduating.
As Master of Philosophy graduate Nathan Lyons leaves Australian shores to study a Doctor of Philosophy at Cambridge University he is well prepared thanks to his experiences at ACU.
“I came to ACU after a bizarre and serendipitous crossing of intellectual paths” says Nathan. “In 2010 I wrote my undergraduate philosophy honours thesis partly on the work of Professor Kevin Hart. I was toying with the idea of postgraduate research in Philosophy when I heard that Professor Hart was leading a new Centre at ACU.
”Professor Hart was to head up the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy’s new Centre for the Phenomenology and Philosophy of Religion – a centre dedicated to research into all aspects of philosophy of religion with a particular focus on 20th century and contemporary German and French phenomenological thought. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to learn from Professor Hart and his colleagues, Nathan applied for a Master of Philosophy, a decision he says was one of the best he has ever made.
Nathan’s research attempted to understand the different ways that contemporary thinkers Jean-Luc Marion and John Milbank inherit Heidegger’s philosophy in a theological context. Keeping up with Marion and Milbank’s footnotes alone meant reading widely from the entire Western philosophical tradition – a steep research learning curve indeed. It was a curve that Nathan relished.
“My supervisors Dr Nick Trakakis and Dr Chris Hackett made some insightful suggestions that led me to shoot for a somewhat more ambitions, more constructive goal with my thesis, and I am particularly grateful for their guidance at that point.”
Hundreds of students are graduating in October as part of ACU’s spring graduation ceremonies. ACU graduates enjoy higher than 70 per cent success rate in finding a job immediately after leaving university, and more than 10 per cent go on to undertake further studies.
Nathan is appreciative for the training at ACU’s Strathfield campus that has paved the way for the next stage of his academic career.
“My time at ACU was so enjoyable that it dispelled any doubts about whether I would like doing postgraduate research – it really confirmed to me that I should continue on to do a PhD. The expertise and support of ACU’s faculty made it possible for me to not only gain a PhD spot at Cambridge but also funding through a studentship.”