Profile of the Department

The profile of the Department of Old Testament Studies and Biblical Archeology has changed throughout history. What remains consistent is the standard of covering the breadth of Old Testament Studies in teaching in order to provide students with a comprehensive insight into the various areas of research.

Currently, the main research foci of the habilitated staff include poetical books (Wisdom, Psalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs), priestly literature, and the anthropology of the Old Testament. In addition, the department is a national research partner of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in the START-project: “Tracing Transformations in the Southern Levant”.

More recently, the department has also distinguished itself through its engagement with non-European scientific traditions (i.e. South Africa, the United States, and Israel) and its openness to new methods and approaches in addition to historical criticism.

Formative, enriching, and beneficial for staff and students has also been the exchange with other departments of the Protestant Theology Faculty as well as interdenominational and interdisciplinary partnerships (i.e. with the Department of Biblical Studies of the Catholic Theological Faculty, the Department of Near Eastern Studies of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies as well as the Department of Jewish Studies of Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies). These collaborations include, for example, the hosting of and participation in the AKRAT-Group („Arbeitskreis Rezeption des Alten Testaments”), which convenes biannual workshops.