Deryn Guest

Deryn Guest

Colleges, School and Institutes


I ventured into academic life relatively late having spent some years as a minister of religion with the Salvation Army, working in Manchester. During the Salvation Army residential training I took up study for a Cambridge Diploma which introduced me to biblical study, church history and theology from academic perspectives. I was an engaged student and when my ministerial vocation unravelled I furthered this study by undertaking a BA Theology at Birmingham. Enthusiastic and encouraging tutors encouraged me to stay for a PhD which I completed in 1996. While studying for the PhD I worked full-time at Westhill Teacher Training College, delivering modules on Greek and Hebrew, Biblical studies, and Women and Christianity.  In 2002 I moved to the University of Birmingham where I am now Senior Lecturer in Biblical Hermeneutics.

In my work I have always been interested in how the experiences of being both LGBT+ and Christian or Jewish can be theorised and you can read more about this journal on my LGBT profile.


Research interests

I research, or have researched in the following areas:

Transgender, lesbian and queer interpretations of biblical texts, masculinity studies and biblical texts, the application of psychological theory to biblical texts, contemporary interpretation of the Book of Judges, ecofeminist theory and its application to biblical texts, biblical archaeology and revisionist views on the date, audience and purpose of biblical texts, spiritual perspectives on ‘women’ and wellbeing in particular the usefulness of personal altar construction and use as a means of development of the Self, the debate between feminism and postfeminism as it applies to biblical hermeneutics.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I welcome enquiries from potential students in biblical hermeneutics, especially in areas of feminist, postfeminist, masculinities and queer areas. I am also interesting in supervising projects that incorporate ecological concerns e.g. the way biblical interpretation has fuelled exploitation of the environment and how texts can be read from ecological perspectives, particularly ecofeminist perspectives.

I also welcome enquiries in the area of psychology, mental health and the development of the Self both from biblical perspectives and within the field of women’s spirituality.

At Birmingham, I currently supervise the following students:

Hannah Stammers, part-time PhD in Theology (College Scholarship award), as primary supervisor. Thesis entitled: Christian Women, Anorexia and Theological Responses: Towards a Feminist Theology of Liberation from Anorexia Nervosa.
Simeon Whiting, part-time PhD in Theology as primary supervisor. Thesis entitled: ‘Can trauma theory and collective memory studies illuminate the characterisation of YHWH in Exodus 13.17 – 15.21 in ways that are helpful for a concerned evangelical reader?’
Sarah Schofield, part-time PhD in Theology as primary supervisor. Thesis entitled: The experiences of women ordained in the Church of England between 1995 and 1999.
Sheryl Metzgner, full-time distance learning PhD in Theology, (College Distance Learning Scholarship award) as primary supervisor. Thesis entitled: “Queer-freedom” in the face of oppression: Post-structural spiritual transformations in the lives of LGBTQ Christians. A grounded theory of pneumatological liberation.
John Rogers, part-time distance learning PhD in Theology as primary supervisor. Thesis entitled: Siege Mentality in the Book of Deuteronomy

I enjoy working with doctoral students and find it one of the most rewarding aspects of being an academic. I attained the College of Arts and Law ‘Excellence in Doctoral Research Supervision’ award in 2016 and have been nominated again in two successive years.

I work flexibly with part-time students using a range of supervision modes (email, skype, face-to-face) to ensure that all students feel comfortable and supported in their preferred style of research. I am happy to work with them on papers they are writing for publication or conferences, support them with library purchases applications for funding.

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