About

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Michael J. Stahl received his Ph.D. from New York University in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (2018). Completed with the support of a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities, Dr. Stahl’s doctoral dissertation—now published in Brill’s series Supplements to Vetus Testamentum as, The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition (https://brill.com/view/title/57242)—analyzes the Hebrew Bible’s use of the formulaic divine title “god of Israel” (’elohe yisra’el) and provides a history of its social and religious politics in ancient Israel and Judah.

Dr. Stahl’s research integrates critical theoretical approaches with historical and philological methodologies to explore the intersection of politics and religion in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel (including early Judaism). Recently awarded a CBA research grant, Dr. Stahl’s current book project, God and Empire: Mesopotamian Imperial Theology and the Origins of Biblical Monotheism, critically appropriates postcolonial discourse theory to investigate the politics of empire that shaped biblical/early Jewish historiography in the Elijah cycle (1 Kings 17:1–2 Kings 2:18) depicting Israel’s relationship to its deity YHWH in terms of an ideological conflict with the Phoenician storm-god Baal. As a complement to his work on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel, Dr. Stahl’s research also examines the role of deities in the politics of human communities in ancient Syria and Lebanon.

Education

Ph.D., Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, New York University (2018)

M.A., Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, New York University (2015)

M.T.S., Biblical Studies, University of Notre Dame (2012)

B.A., Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (2010)

Publications

Monographs

1. The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 187. Leiden: Brill, 2021 (https://brill.com/view/title/57242).

Edited Volumes


1. With Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Lauren A. S. Monroe, and Dylan R. Johnson. “A Community of Peoples”: Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Harvard Semitic Studies. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming, 2022).

Articles

1. “Ḥērem-Warfare at Ugarit? Reevaluating KTU 1.13 and KTU 1.3 II.” Ugarit-Forschungen 47 (2016): 265–299 (https://ugarit-verlag.com/en/collections/serien/products/0a9b5ac47e7a439c971cc59e210660d9). [9,000 words]

2. “The ‘God of Israel’ in Judah’s Bible: Problems and Prospects.” Journal of Biblical Literature 139/4 (2020): 721–745 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15699/jbl.1394.2020.6). [12,750 words]

3. “The Historical Origins of the Biblical God Yahweh.” Religion Compass 14/11 (2020): e12378 (pp. 1–14) (https://doi.org/10.1111/rec3.12378). [10,000 words]

4. “Between City, King, and Empire: Will the Real ‘Lady of Byblos’ Please Stand Up?” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 20/2 (2020): 225–263 (https://brill.com/view/journals/jane/20/2/article-p225_4.xml). [20,000 words]

5. “God’s Best ‘Frenemy’: A New Perspective on YHWH and Baal in Ancient Israel and Judah.” Semitica 63 (2021): 45–94. [19,000 words]

6. “Under the Shadow of Elijah: The Politics of Empire and the Origins of the Elijah Cycle’s Baal Polemics.” Vetus Testamentum (under review). [10,000 words]

Book Chapters

1. “Pregnant with Meaning: The Politics of Gender Violence in the Mesha Stele’s Ḥērem-Warfare List (KAI 181:16–17).” In “A Community of Peoples”: Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Edited by Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Lauren A. S. Monroe, Michael J. Stahl, and Dylan R. Johnson. Harvard Semitic Studies. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming, 2022). [10,000 words]

2. With Mahri Leonard-Fleckman and Lauren A. S. Monroe. “‘A Community of Peoples’.” In “A Community of Peoples”: Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Edited by Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Lauren A. S. Monroe, Michael J. Stahl, and Dylan R. Johnson. Harvard Semitic Studies. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming, 2022). [3,000 words]

Book Reviews

1. Review of Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2016), in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 82/1 (2020): 121–123 (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/742940). [1,000 words]

2. Review of Shawn W. Flynn, A Story of YHWH: Cultural Translation and Subversive Reception in Israelite History, Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East (New York, NY: Routledge, 2020), in Review of Biblical Literature 5/21 (2020) (https://www.sblcentral.org/home/bookDetails/13731). [1,800 words]

Note: If you would like a copy of any of my publications, please send me a message. Thank you.

Projects

Monographs

God and Empire: Mesopotamian Imperial Theology and the Origins of Biblical Monotheism (in preparation, supported by a research grant from the Catholic Biblical Association).

Articles

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Seal of the ‘City God’ NIN.URTA and Collective Identity at Ancient Emar.” Journal of the American Oriental Society (in advanced preparation). [12,000 words]

“The Ḫazannu at Late Bronze Age Emar: Outside Imperial Representative or Local City Leader?” Journal of Near Eastern Studies (in advanced preparation). [10,000 words]

“‘Canaanite,’ Israelite, Judahite: Psalm 29 and the Shifting Politics of Identity.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly (in preparation). [10,000 words]

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“God’s Best ‘Frenemy’: A New Perspective on YHWH and Baal in Ancient Israel and Judah.” Society of Biblical Literature, Annual Meeting, 2021.

“Neo-Babylonian Imperial Theology and the Origins of the Elijah Cycle’s Baal Polemics.” Society of Biblical Literature, Annual Meeting, 2021.

“God’s Best ‘Frenemy’: Yhwh and Baal in Ancient Israel.” Catholic Biblical Association, Annual Meeting, 2021.

Memberships

Society of Biblical Literature
Catholic Biblical Association (full member)
American Oriental Society
American Schools of Oriental Research
Association for Jewish Studies

Michael J. Stahl

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