The academic discipline of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament Studies is experiencing a somewhat paradoxical situation: On the one hand, there is a tendency that the number of employed HB / OT personnel is decreasing throughout European universities. On the other hand, the field of the discipline – like other humanistic fields – is undergoing immense diversification in terms of epistemology, employed methods, and research patterns. Also, the exchange has been ever growing between HB / OT studies and neighbouring disciplines like Oriental or Egyptological studies, Archaeology, Religious studies, Literary studies, etc.
This situation would ideally require more, rather than fewer, scholars to cover the field satisfactorily. The number of PhD scholars is high, especially in some countries and institutions. Throughout the OTSEM inistitutions, the number of post doc. members without secured academic future is alarmingly high. OTSEM aims to maintain and further develop the academic environment for ph.d. studies of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament Studies and to help post doctoral members stay in the discipline by developing and running further projects. In an effort to achieve this, we have joined forces. Since individual members represent particular competences and academic orientation, the network as a total is able to offer an unusally rich selection of relevant academic competence. No single institutional group (in OTSEM or elsewhere) is today able to maintain top competence throughout the spectre of present HB / OT studies. The OTSEM community as a totality stands a much better chance to do so.–
2020 • Göttingen, Germany
2021 • Lund, Sweden