Dr. Michael J. Stahl is a Lecturer in Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Dr. 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 Supplements to Vetus Testamentum series as The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition—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 intellectual tools from 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. Dr. Stahl has presented on his research at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).
Before joining NYU, Dr. Stahl taught courses in biblical and religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, the University of Florida, Wofford College, Converse College, and St. Francis College. Dr. Stahl’s courses for the upcoming 2021–2022 academic year at NYU include: “Sex, Gender, and the Bible” (HBRJD-UA/RELST-UA 19), “The Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism, and Christianity” (HBRJD-UA 131), “Intermediate Hebrew I & II” (HBRJD-UA 949), and “Ancient Israel” (CORE-UA 514).
For Dr. Stahl’s full CV, see here.
AREAS OF RESEARCH
-Postcolonial theory and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
-Empire and imperialism in the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean
-Ancient Israelite religion (including early Judaism)
-Politics, society, and religion in the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean
-Biblical prophetic literature (Former and Latter Prophets)
-Critical theory and biblical reception history
-Scribal culture and the literary formation of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
-Scribalism and education in the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean
2018 Ph.D., New York University (Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East)
2015 M.A., New York University (Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East)
2012 M.T.S., The University of Notre Dame (Biblical Studies)
2010 B.A., The Pennsylvania State University (Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies)
1. The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 187. Leiden: Brill, 2021
2. God and Empire: Mesopotamian Imperial Theology and the Origins of Biblical Monotheism (in preparation, supported by a research grant from the Catholic Biblical Association).
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).
1. “Ḥērem-Warfare at Ugarit? Reevaluating KTU 1.13 and KTU 1.3 II.” Ugarit-Forschungen 47 (2016): 265–299
2. “The ‘God of Israel’ in Judah’s Bible: Problems and Prospects.” Journal of Biblical Literature 139/4 (2020): 721–745
3. “The Historical Origins of the Biblical God Yahweh.” Religion Compass 14/11 (2020): e12378 (pp. 1–14)
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
5. “God’s Best ‘Frenemy’: A New Perspective on YHWH and Baal in Ancient Israel and Judah.” Semitica 63 (2021): 45–94.
6. “Under the Shadow of Elijah: The Politics of Empire and the Origins of the Elijah Cycle’s Baal Polemics.” Vetus Testamentum (under review).
7. “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]
8. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Seal of the ‘City God’ d NIN.URTA and Collective Identity at Ancient Emar.” Journal of the American Oriental Society (in advanced preparation). [12,000 words]
9. “‘Canaanite,’ Israelite, Judahite: Psalm 29 and the Shifting Politics of Identity.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly (in preparation). [10,000 words]
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).
2. With Mahri Leonard-Fleckman and Lauren A. S. Monroe. “Introduction: ‘A Community of Peoples’ (Genesis 28:3).” 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). [8,000 words]
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
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)
For more on Dr. Stahl’s scholarship, please visit: https://nyu.academia.edu/MichaelStahl