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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews Old Testament scholarship during three periods: (1) up to 1945; (2) from 1945 to 1970; and (3) from 1970. Seventy years ago, the discipline was still reacting in various ways to the theory of the history of Israelite religion and sacrifice and the theory of how and when the Old Testament had been composed, which had received classical expression fifty years earlier in J. Wellhausen's Prolegomena (1883). In Germany, the discipline faced the determined attempts of the ‘German Christian’ movement to banish the study of Hebrew and the Old Testament from universities and the use of the Old Testament from Christian worship. However, the ending of the Second World War initiated a period of consolidation with strongly marked theological interests, until the emergence, in the late 1960s, of new methodologies including structuralism, literature criticism, feminist and liberation theology, deconstruction, and canonical criticism.

Keywords: biblical scholarship, J. Wellhausen, German Christian, structuralism, literature criticism, feminist theology, liberation theology, deconstruction, canonical criticism

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