• Douglas Lawrie University of the Western Cape
Keywords: Historical criticism, Literary Criticism, Feminist Criticism, Trajectories, Teaching


This paper examines three influential trajectories in the recent study of the Old Testament and argues that they deserve to and probably will remain influential. Historical study (broadly taken and including archaeology) continues to broaden our understanding of the ancient context, it is argued, is important for several reasons. Literary study, both as “close reading” and as literary theorizing and hermeneutical reflection, has made us conscious of what was often too easily taken for granted. Feminist study (taken here as synecdoche for various approaches from the side of the excluded) has, through its passion and eloquence, humanized the study of the Bible. The conclusion of the paper reflects on the difficulties of teaching the Old Testament today and the dangers of pursuing novelties before a thorough foundation has been laid. It suggests, however, that the Old Testament may continue to address its readers in totally unexpected ways. (So as to leave the original paper more or less unchanged, I deal with most references and some of the questions that arose in the discussion in footnotes.)
'Quo Vadis' Theology