Deborah Bowen grew up in the south of England in a house full of books where both parents were professional writers.
After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she taught first in high-school in Bristol and then at a teachers’ college in York before coming to Canada with her husband in 1977 to work with university students through Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.
Having gained a Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa, she taught there for several years and at the Université de Montréal for a year, before joining the faculty at Redeemer University in 1996.
She wants her students to understand how literature is an active force in the world and how their reading relates to the broader culture. She believes deeply that as they learn to interpret texts, they will also learn to read better both their own lives and those of other people.
Deborah has presented her research regularly at academic conferences, both specifically Christian and otherwise, and was from 2014-18 national co-chair of the Christianity and Literature Study Group, an affiliated organization with ACCUTE (the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English). She also served for eight years (2001-09) on the Senate of the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto.
She has published two academic books, twelve chapters in academic collections, twenty-three papers in academic journals, and over forty academic book reviews. She has delivered eighty papers at conferences and about twenty plenary addresses.
She retired from full-time teaching in June 2017, but continues to teach part-time. Her present research involves the imaginative interface between poetry and ecology: for the first-fruits of this work, see https://www.redeemer.ca/wp-content/uploads/Poetry-and-Ecology-Project.pdf. Deborah is now working on a curated anthology of Ontarian poetry called Poetry in Place.
Deborah was delighted to learn about Global Scholars Canada, whose goals and vision are so closely attuned to those of her and her husband John. In fact, at her first big GSC meeting which she attended ‘virtually’ in June, she met up with a peer from Inter-Varsity during her Oxford days whom she hadn’t seen for more than forty years! She and John, who was until recently Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College, U of Toronto, have contacts with IVCF and IFES staff in a number of places in the world, and have always shared the vision of encouraging students to think Christianly about their academic disciplines, whatever those might be.
Deborah and John have two children, one a musician and one a writer, and four grandchildren, who look as if, in terms of gifts and abilities, they may well follow in the family footsteps.