Whitley congratulates Dr Barbara Deutschmann on her outstanding achievement as Winner of the 2023 ANZATS Award for the Best Monograph by an Emerging Scholar.
Dr Barbara Deutschmann is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Divinity. She is an alumnus of the University, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in 2019. Her PhD thesis has recently been published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark, entitled “Creating Gender in the Garden: The Inconstant Partnership of Eve and Adam”.
In Barbara’s words, the book is a rewrite of her PhD on gender aspects of the Eden narrative in Genesis. Barbara’s interest in the Bible and gender came out of her life experience. She lived for many years in North India where she could not help but notice the vast difference in life outcomes of women and men. When Barbara returned from India and resettled in Australia, she took up a position with TEAR (now Tearfund) Australia and worked in international development for many years. Barbara says, “This magnified my interest in why women have such a hard time. It is said that ‘poverty wears a woman’s face’ and I saw it up close in my travels for TEAR.” Barbara became intrigued about the metanarratives (big stories) that underlie attitudes to women and wondered what part in it the Bible played. That led to her taking up PhD studies to investigate the gender elements of the creation narratives.
Barbara’s research inspired her to write her book ‘Creating Gender in the Garden’, where she tracked the way the story of Eve has been interpreted over the centuries. Of her award Barbara says “I am delighted to have won the prize and hope that it leads to more people reading the Eden story afresh. I would love to see a gradual dismantling of the assumptions about gender hierarchy and gender essentialism that people continue to see in the story.”