Stellenbosch Symposium on the Theology of the Septuagint

There is a great reason to travel to South Africa for those interested in the Septuagint. The Universities of Rostock and Stellenbosch are joining forces to host a symposium entitled “A Theology of the Septuagint.”

The event will be held from 17 to 19 August 2018 in the Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University. I am told that this symposium is not open to paper proposals, however delegates are welcome.

A Theology of the Septuagint?

For many years scholars have wondered what we can learn about the interpretive approaches or traditions of those who produced the Septuagint. It is certainly a fascinating question because of the implications it could have for the study of Judaism and early Christian movement – what kind of theological notions underlay the translation? How do they fit into the broader religious environment? How did that theology affect the Septuagint version? Most critically: what criteria can be developed to help determine what features of a translation arose from theological conviction rather than, say, textual transmission?

These questions are as important and interesting as they are difficult to answer – or even determine how you might answer them. Many have expressed scepticism over whether discerning theology in the Septuagint is even possible at all. It is not, after all, a unified corpus, so can we even responsibly use the singular term “theology”? I encourage readers interested in such questions to consult the very helpful chapter on this topic in Jobes & Silva (pp. 326-350).

All of these issues lead quite naturally to the desire to hold a symposium on the topic.


The preliminary schedule of speakers (without paper titles) is as follows:

17 August

13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-14:10 Opening of conference Prof. Martin Rösel (University of Rostock)

Session 1. Chairperson: Prof. Johann Cook (University of Stellenbosch)
14:15-15:00 Lecture 1: Prof. Martin Rösel
15:00-15:15 Tea/Coffee Break

Session 2. Chairperson: Prof. Dirk Buchner (TWU Vancouver)
15:15-16:00 Lecture 2: Prof. Emanuel Tov (Hebrew University)
16:00-16:45 Lecture 3: Prof. E. Dafni (University of Thessaloniki)
16:45-17:30 Lecture 4: Prof. Gert Steyn (Ewersbach, Germany)

18 August

Session 3. Chairperson: Prof. Gert Steyn (Ewersbach)
09:00-09:45 Lecture 5: Prof. Wolfgang Kraus (Universität des Saarlandes)
09:45-10:30 Lecture 6: Prof. Jessie Rogers (University of Limerick)
10:30-10:45 Tea/Coffee Break

Session 4. Chairperson: Prof. Jessie Rogers (Limerick)
10:45-11:30 Lecture 7: Prof. Johan Thom (University of Stellenbosch)
11:30-12:15 Lecture 8: Prof. Phlip Bosman (University of Stellenbosch)
12:15-13:00 Lecture 9: Prof. Louis Jonker (University of Stellenbosch)
13:00-14:30 Lunch

Session 5. Chairperson: Prof. Louis Jonker (University of Stellenbosch)
14:30-15:15 Lecture 10: Prof. Ulrich Volp (Universität Mainz)
15:15-16:00 Lecture 11: Prof. Gideon Kotzé (NW University)
16:00-16:15 Tea/Coffee
16:15-17:00 Lecture 12: Dr. Peter Nagel (University Stellenbosch)
19:00 Dinner

19 August

Session 6. Chairperson: Prof. Johann Cook (University of Stellenbosch)
Four papers of 15 minutes each by post graduate students from the NWU and US
09:00-09:15 Lecture 13: Mr. Joel Ruark (University of Stellenbosch)
09:15-09:30 Lecture 14: Mr. Philip Nolte (NW University)
09:00-09:45 Lecture 15: Mr. Larry Lincoln (University of Stellenbosch)
09:45-10:00 Lecture 16: Mr. Isa Chang (NW University)

Session 7. Chairperson: Prof. Pierre Jordaan (NW University)
10:00-10:45 Lecture 17: Prof. F. Hartenstein (Universität München)
10:45-11:00 Tea/Coffee

8. Chairperson: Prof. Gideon Kotzé
11:00-11:45 Lecture 18: Prof. Hans Ausloos (Université catholique de Louvain – Belgium)
11:45-12:30 Lecture 19: Prof. Pierre Jordaan (NW University)
12:30-14:00 Lunch

Session 9. Chairperson: Prof. Martin Rösel
14:00-14:45 Lecture 20: Dr Eugene Coetzer (Stellenbosch)
14:45-15:00 Tea/Coffee
15:00-15:45 Lecture 21: Prof. Johann Cook (Stellenbosch)
15:45-17:00 Final Dicscussion

Plans are in place for publication of the proceedings.


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