Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Department ofClassics and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies

Michael J. Stahl

Michael J. Stahl
Assistant Teaching Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
221 Weaver Building, University Park, PA 16802
Pronouns: He/Him


Dr. Michael J. Stahl is Assistant Teaching Professor in Hebrew Bible in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. He is a first-generation college graduate and proud Penn State alum (B.A., Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, 2010). Dr. Stahl received his Ph.D. from New York University in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (2018).

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). 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.

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 the Elijah cycle’s portrayal of Israel’s relationship to its deity YHWH in terms of an ideological conflict with the Phoenician storm god Baal (see 1 Kings 17:1–2 Kings 2:18). 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 the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean. Dr. Stahl has presented on his research at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and ASOR, as well as at colleges and universities across the United States.

Before joining Penn State, Dr. Stahl taught courses in biblical and religious studies full time at New York University, the College of the Holy Cross, and the University of Florida.

For Dr. Stahl’s full CV, see here.

Education Details:

Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, New York University (2018)
M.A. in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, New York University (2015)
M.T.S. in Biblical Studies, University of Notre Dame (2012)
B.A. in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Penn State University (2010)