Divine Laws in the Ancient World

Conference, Via Liguria 20, Roma

THURSDAY H 09:15-17:30
FRIDAY H 09:30-17:00

Via Liguria 20, Roma

THURSDAY H 09:15-17:30
FRIDAY H 09:30-17:00

Divine Laws in the Ancient World
A Comparative Approach

The conferences will take place in English at the Istituto Svizzero, via Liguria 20, Rome.

14.03.2024, register here.
15.03.2024, register here.

This conference situates the evidence of the Hebrew Bible within the legal traditions from the broader ancient Mediterranean / ancient Near Eastern cultures by taking a comparative approach to the issue of divine lawgiving understood in a broad sense. Covering the time frame of the First Millennium BCE (until the Hellenistic period), the inquiry not only addresses formal acts of divine legislation in different religious contexts but also investigates the many possible ways in which divine agents are represented as a source of authority, serve as guarantors for the law, enact justice or enforce norms.

In collaboration with the University of Zurich and Sapienza University of Rome, Department of History Anthropology Religions Art History, Media and Performing Arts


THURSDAY, 14.03.2024
Istituto Svizzero
Via Liguria 20, Roma
Free entrance

Comparative Perspectives

Session 1

Chair: Lorenzo Verderame, Sapienza Università di Roma

H 09:15-09:30 ― Institutional greetings: Maria Böhmer, Istituto Svizzero
Introduction: Konrad Schmid, University of Zurich

H 09:30-10:30 ― Guido Pfeifer, University of Frankfurt
How to Decide Properly: Ancient Near Eastern Law as a Cultural Technique in the Context of the Numinous and the Divine

Coffee Break

H 11:00–12:00 ― Dylan Johnson, University of Cardiff
Divine and Royal Lawgivers: Towards a Functional Ontology of Kingship

H 12:00–12:20― Eckart Frahm, Yale University, Response

H 12:20-12:30 ― Discussion


Session 2

Chair: Alessandro Saggioro, Sapienza Università di Roma

H 14:30-15:30 ― Daniela Bonanno, Università di Palermo
Nemesis as an Agent of Divine Justice in the Greek World

Coffee Break

H 16:00 – 17:00 ― Anna Angelini, University of Zurich
Looking for the Gods in the Greek Juridical Inscriptions from the Archaic Period

H 17:00 – 17:20 ― Angelos Chaniotis, Princeton University, Response

H 17:20 – 17:30 ― Discussion

H 17:30 ― Aperitif

FRIDAY, 15.03.2024

Istituto Svizzero
Via Liguria 20, Roma
Free entrance

The Hebrew Bible

Session 3

Chair: Jean Louis Ska, Pontificio Istituto Biblico

H 09:30 – 10:30 ― Lida Panov, University of Zurich
Legal Symbolism and the Development of Divine Law in the Hebrew Bible

Coffee Break

H 11:00 – 12:00 ― Matthias Hopf, University of Zurich
God’s Emotions in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible: Some Observations on a Peculiar Phenomenon

H 12:00 – 12:20 ― Bruce Wells, University of Texas at Austin, Response

H 12:20 – 12:30 ― Discussion

Lunch Break

Session 4

Chair: Daniele Garrone, Facoltà Valdese di Teologia

H 14:30 – 15:30 ― Jonathan Vroom, University of Toronto
A Legal-Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Authority of Legal Texts from the Hebrew Bible

H 15:30 – 16:30 ― Peter Altmann, Fuller Theological Seminary
The Use of Pentateuchal Law to Delimit ‘Israel’ in Likely Persian-Period Texts

H 16:30 – 16:50 ― Caterina Moro, Università di Roma Tre, Response

H 16:50 – 17:00 ― Closing Remarks