The department has contributed substantially to the research output of the Faculty in 2015 with 24 articles in accredited journals and several other chapters in books and in conference proceedings. Among others the extraordinary and honorary professors made global contributions with biblical commentaries on Proverbs (JA Loader), Deuteronomy (E Otto) and a monograph on the History of Israel (C Frevel). Prof Thomas Römer was elected as an 'académicien plein' to France's prestigious Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.
Prof Römer is extraordinary professor in the Department and visits UP annually for lectures and specialist seminars. He is also professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and the College de France in Paris. He is one of the most distinct professors of Theology in the world.
Three international and one national Seminar(s) were held on the primary research foci of the department, namely ProPent (Pentateuch and the Prophets), ProProph (Prophets and the Pentateuch) and ProPsalms (Psalms and the poor). A ground-breaking conference was also organised on the Dead sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls for the first time have received exclusive attention at a South African conference, the Qumran Conference on 28-29 May. An international video conference was held with the University of Essen-Duisburg with student interaction on contextual African matters and religious texts. A Adrianus van Selms prestigious lecture was held in honour of this global scholar in Old Testament Studies and Semitic Languages.
Four postdoc fellows have focussed their research on specific themes in the Hebrew canon. This included the Old Testament wisdom literature (A Viljoen), the book Song of Songs (P van der Zwan), the book Malachi (B Boloye) and liturgy and Pedi ritual songs (E Lebaka). Two of these fellows additionally received fellowships abroad for short research visits to Utrecht, Netherlands (Lebaka) and Leipzig, Germany (Van der Zwan).
The Faculty hosts a website (www.teo.co.za) which relays the latest national and international scholarly insights to more than six thousand readers each month. This website introduced a new way of doing theology, and of communicating the latest research results to scholars, students and all people interested in religion and theology. Three members of the department are involved to create and maintain this website (JH le Roux, A Groenewald and G de Villiers).
Apart from the international seminars personnel also attended the annual congresses of the Old Testament Society of SA, the international EABS in Cordoba, Spain (DJ Human, A Groenewald), international SBL in Buenos Aires, Argentina (A Groenewald) and Septuagint conference in Thessaloniki, Greece (G de Villiers).
Three personnel members have an NRF rating. Dr Gerda de Villiers has obtained a PhD degree on Identity and the Book of Ruth. Emeriti professors JH le Roux and PM Venter are active research members of the Department.