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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982


HUMAN, Dirk J. et al. Old Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria: Glimpses of the past and future. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2017, vol.38, n.4, suppl.2, pp.37-68. ISSN 2074-7705.

This chapter intends to cast selective glimpses of the past, present and anticipated future of the Department of OTS at the UP. During the centenary celebrations of the FT (2017), this contemplation is imperative. Academic activities and contributions of its personnel, students and associate scholars of the past and present hold a significant influence on its prospective academic stature and future. Their relevance and the contextualisation of OT and Ancient Near Eastern literature in the South African and African contexts could resonate in an influential and clear global footprint. Therefore, the Department will continuously strive for academic excellence at a world-ranked Faculty and University. In alliance with ecclesial partners, society and academic collaborators this Department will work for academic integrity to be locally relevant and internationally competitive in the century to come. In a short historical overview of the academic and social contributions of the Department of OTS at the UP over the past century (1917-2017), this chapter provides a limited picture of how the department has contributed to academia, church and society. In this year of the Faculty of Theology's centenary celebrations, this chapter contemplates selected highlights of the past and intends to discover the avenues of future vistas through current academic strengths, research foci of personnel and the actualisation of the OT in the African context(s). From the inception of the UP in 1908, the Faculty of Humanities has been involved in OT related studies, namely the study of the Hebrew language. OTS has become known over many years through individual scholars' expertise regarding Bible translation and the foci on specific parts of the OT, namely the Pentateuch, Psalms, Prophets or Second Temple literature. World renowned projects started since 1990 to involve several international scholars. These include inter alia Pro Pent, Pro Psalms, Pro Prof and Qumran projects. Because the department is located at a FT in Africa, it has continuously strived to become theologically relevant for local and African contexts. The department continually envisions excellence and relevant scholarship for its contexts in academia, church and society.

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