The RC investigates the composition and development of sacred texts in early Judaism: their writing, copying and editing, their rewriting, actualizing and commenting as well as their interpretation, translation, and authorization. These texts are typically tradition literature that has had a long history of transmission by manuscripts, often preceded by oral traditions. Changes in texts thus often presuppose changes in the traditions behind them, and these again need to be traced back by all possible methods, from the philological to the archaeological.
The various project groups within the RC approach the sacred texts and the processes of their emergence from different perspectives and with different methodologies, focusing on different parts of the corpus of sacred texts and on different phases of their development:
- Hebrew Scriptures (investigation of their emergence, transmission and development, changes made by the scribes, and the process of scripturalization)
- Qumran texts (paleographical reconstruction and interpretation of the fragmentary manuscripts, investigation of the nature of the Qumran movement and its continuities and discontinuities with the sacred traditions)
- Septuagint (textual criticism of the Hebrew and the Greek texts as well as the daughter versions of the Septuagint, translation-technical research on the Septuagint and its daughter versions, preparation of a critical edition of the Septuagint)
- Historiography of Israel (confronting the texts with the results of archaeological research and the recent advances in Assyriology)
- Prophetic texts (interpretation of the texts in the context of the broader phenomenon of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean prophecy)
There is a broad variety of expertise in the RC, including mastering of a number of ancient languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, Syriac, Ethiopic, Greek, Latin, Coptic). There is also a great deal of mutual support and synergy in the RC.
As for the doctoral training, the RC forms an ideal environment for doctoral candidates, both domestic and international, who are welcome to take part in all the activities of the RC and have all the expertise of the RC at their disposal.
Responsible person: Anneli Aejmelaeus, Faculty of Theology
Participation category: 1