Old Testament Studies comprises a broad field of disciplines and sub-disciplines. To have an academic grip or specialised expertise on them all is impossible for one Department with four people. Although staff lectures undergraduate modules on the broad content and sub-disciplines of the Old Testament, only a selection of focused research projects, initiatives and forums of the Department serve as focus for research. This includes the following:
Pentateuch research (ProPent) (Sias Meyer): A long-term project studying the texts of the Pentateuch. This includes the exegesis, theologies, hermeneutics, and composition of this corpus. Also the relationship between these texts and the rest of the Old Testament and extra-biblical texts are investigated. The project is conducted in close cooperation with Prof Eckart Otto (LMU, Germany) and other international experts.
Psalms and poetic literature (ProPsalms) (Dirk Human): A long-term project studying the texts of the Psalms and poetic literature. This includes the exegesis, theologies, hermeneutics, and composition of this corpus. Also the relationship between these texts and the rest of the Old Testament and extra-biblical texts are investigated. The project is conducted in close cooperation with the Department of Ancient Languages (UP) and other international experts.
Prophetic literature (ProProf) (Alphonso Groenewald): A younger initiative with similar objectives as the abovementioned two projects.
- Second Temple and Qumran research (Ananda Geyser-Fouché, Pieter Venter): Various aspects of this Old Testament corpus and Inter-testament period are investigated.
African Contextual Hermeneutics research (research associates): Investigating the use, interpretation and application of Old Testament texts in various African contexts.
The abovementioned research topics are most relevant for the formation of ministers and pastors of religion (practitioners). They further contribute to the academic capacity building of theologians (academics). In an eclectic and exemplary way these topics cover a whole range of Old Testament texts and themes, which are important for public theological discussions.
Specialisation in these topics builds expertise which is important for national and international academic debate. To address relevant theological themes in Church and society the above themes provide multiple possibilities. Time and occasion determine the actuality and choice of a relevant theme.