Book Prize 2009

Press Release

Lynlea Rodger
Australasian Theological Forum Book Prize

The Australasian Theological Forum Ltd (ATF Ltd) awards an annual prize for an outstanding academic theological book published in the area of Christian theology. Last week, Rev Dr Paul Babie, Chair of ATF Ltd, announced that the recipient of the 2009 prize for books published in 2007 or 2008 was Rev Dr Alan Cadwallader, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Australian Catholic University National at Canberra.

Dr Cadwallader will receive the 2009 prize for his 2008 book Beyond the Word of a Woman: Recovering the Bodies of the Syrophoenician Women.

Dr Babie said that ‘the criteria used by the panel of judges require that a book be well written, that it makes an original contribution to its field of theology, that it is of international standard, and that it is challenging’.

‘In awarding its prize, the ATF aims to recognise and encourage theological work of the highest academic standard’, Dr Babie said.

In awarding the prize, Dr Babie said that Dr Cadwallader’s book is ‘an erudite book that fits all the criteria for an award of excellence and makes a new and unique contribution’ to biblical scholarship.

The book is ‘an in-depth analysis of the story in the Gospel of Mark about the Syro-Phoenician woman, decentring the reading of the text from the traditional focus on the word to a concentration on the body.

‘Developing a sophisticated methodological approach, Dr Cadwallader reads the text against the backdrop of the social world of the first century BCE, highlighting the rhetorical conventions of the day.  The analysis is detailed, sophisticated and insightful. It is, in short, an outstanding piece of scholarship’, Dr Babie said.

Dr Babie said that in the judges view ‘Dr Cadwallader demonstrates a wide and extensive knowledge of the literature and writings of the ancient world’ and that ‘one of the pleasures of reading the book is the author’s engagement with that literature and the way the reader is drawn into conversation with the biblical text.  Dr Cadwallader’s analysis brings new insights to the field of both Markan studies and feminist biblical critique.’

The Award will be presented to Dr Cadwallader in Canberra in November.

Further information:

Mr Hilary Regan
ATF Press

Australasian Theological Forum Ltd
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