Hugo Gressmann and the History of Religions School

Funding of Research in the Archives of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA), Jerusalem

Sascha Gebauer (Berlin)

Hugo Gressmann near Tell Dotan

Hugo Gressmann near Tell Dotan

This project is dedicated to the work of Hugo Gressmann (professor of Old Testament) and his program of social and religious history. He is considered to be one of the most important representatives of the History of Religions School in the first half of the 20th century. In his studies he explored the influence of the religions and cultures of the Ancient Near East on Ancient Israel. During research trips to Jerusalem he gained important insights for his hypotheses. After his return he advocated the foundation of museums about ancient Palestine at each University.

The project examines to what extent Gressmann’s hypotheses on the adoption of Ancient Near Eastern traditions in texts of the Old Testament can still be seen as relevant with our current understanding. At the same time Gressmann represents a pioneer of interdisciplinary studies and interreligious dialogue. By restructuring the Institutum Judaicum Berolinense he promoted unfettered exchange with Jewish scholars. His questions and methods can help resolve issues of interdisciplinary dialogue in our current situation of study. This work closes a gap in the history of scholarship in Theology, as there has yet been no distinct research on the person and work of Hugo Gressmann.

Further Information
  • S. Gebauer, Hugo Gressmann als Palästinaforscher, in: ZDPV 129/2 (2013), 217 – 233.

Further projects funded by the Society

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