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 analyzes the Hebrew Bible’s use of the 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 dissertation will appear in Brill’s Supplements to Vetus Testamentum series as, The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition, in 2021 (https://brill.com/view/title/57242).

Situated within the larger discourses and methods of biblical studies, religious studies, Near Eastern studies, and Jewish studies, Dr. Stahl’s research integrates current critical theory (broadly construed) with historical methodologies to explore the intersection of politics and religion in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel (including early Judaism). Recently awarded a Catholic Biblical Association Grant for the Promotion of Biblical Scholarship and Biblical Literacy, Dr. Stahl’s current book project, God and Empire: Mesopotamian Imperial Theology and the Origins of Biblical Monotheism, critically appropriates postcolonial 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. Dr. Stahl has presented on his research at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research.

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.

See: https://brill.com/view/title/57242

Articles

1. “Under the Shadow of Elijah: The Politics of Empire and the Origins of the Elijah Cycle’s Baal Polemics.” Vetus Testamentum (under review).

2. “God’s Best ‘Frenemy’: A New Perspective on YHWH and Baal in Ancient Israel and Judah.” Semitica (under review).

3. “Between City, King, and Empire: Will the Real ‘Lady of Byblos’ Please Stand Up?” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 20/2 (2020): forthcoming.

4. “The ‘God of Israel’ in Judah’s Bible: Problems and Prospects.” Journal of Biblical Literature 139/4 (2020): 719–743.

See: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15699/jbl.1394.2020.6

5. “The Historical Origins of the Biblical God Yahweh.” Religion Compass 14/11 (2020): e12378 (pp. 1–14).

See: https://doi.org/10.1111/rec3.12378

6. “Ḥērem-Warfare at Ugarit? Reevaluating KTU 1.13 and KTU 1.3 II.” Ugarit-Forschungen 47 (2016): 265–299.

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 (expected 2022).

Book Reviews

1. 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). See: https://www.sblcentral.org/home/bookDetails/13731.

2. 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. See: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/742940.

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).

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

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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