Après le déluge: Københavnerskolen eller kaos?


  • Niels Peter Lemche




The Copenhagen School, Israel’s history, historical-critical scholarship, cultural memory, primeval history, Hellenism


The article is based on the author’s farewell address at the University
of Copenhagen and includes a review of recent scholarship in the
light of the achievements of the Copenhagen School. The changes of
paradigm from classical historical-critical scholarship to contemporary
Old Testament scholarship after le déluge which was the Copenhagen
School are considerable. First of all the link previously assumed between
a text in the Old Testament and what really happened in Palestine in
ancient times has been broken when we realized that there is actually in
the case of the Old Testament so little that unites history with narrative
that it is misleading to understand biblical historiography as “history”.
It is a story about the past, a kind of cultural memory, and to those who
wrote these stories about the past, the real past was not very important.
Another result of the contribution of the Copenhagen School relates
to the dating of biblical literature that was hardly collected before the
Hellenistic Period, and probably not in Jerusalem or in Palestine. Therefore,
with the retirement of the last original member of the Copenhagen
School it is a totally different scene in Old Testament studies which
remains, not because everyone accepts the theses of the school but because it has set the agenda for present and future discussion.





Lemche, N. P. (2014). Après le déluge: Københavnerskolen eller kaos?. Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift, 77(2), 98–120. https://doi.org/10.7146/dtt.v77i2.105708