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Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar

Fabio Porzia

Fabio Porzia, Dr.

  • Associate Researcher
Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar, Kantonsschulstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich

Academic CV

2017-2021 Postdoc, University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France (ERC Advanced Grant Project 741182 MAP (“Mapping Ancient Polytheisms. Cult Epithets as an Interface between Religious Systems and Human Agency”)

2013-2021 Teaching positions at University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France

2012-2016 PhD in Ancient History, University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France

2008-2011 MA in Biblical Sciences, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Faculty of Oriental Studies and Biblical Sciences, Rome, Italy

2003-2008 BA in Philosophy and Theology, Pontifical University “Antonianum”, Faculty of Philosophy and Theology, Rome, Italy

Research Interests

  • History and archaeology of the first millennium BCE Levant
  • History of Religion\s
  • North-west Semitic epigraphy
  • Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible

Current Research

“History of religion\s: CSSL and new perspectives on the history of ancient Levantine religion\s in the second and first millennia BCE”; Module D5 of the Sinergia Project “Stamp seals from the Southern Levant: a multi-faceted prism for studying entangles histories in an interdisciplinary perspective” (CRSIIS_La6426)

The religious history of ancient Levant has been described as a juxtaposition of ethnic pantheons, each one dominated by the major deity of a “nation” or “tribe”. My research pleads for a shift in emphasis from religious differences based on presumed ethnic identities and postulated cultural borders to the overall similarity in the Levantine religious landscape. The complexity of several Levantine pantheons, backed by epigraphic and archaeological data, can therefore be understood in the context of a region characterised by a high degree of commonality and cross-cultural connectivity. In such a context, gods were conceived as “patchworks” made up of shared, variously configured features, and were therefore understandable and translatable by each social group.

Publications (selected)

Proceedings and Books

  • 2021, with S. Lebreton (eds), Gods at the borders. Acts of the second seminar « Noms de dieux ! » of the ERC MAP project, in Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 21/22 (2019-2020), 219-308.
  • 2020, with C. Bonnet and É. Guillon, La civiltà dei Fenici. Un percorso mediterraneo nel I millennio a.C., Rome (168 pp.). ISBN: 978-88-290-0129-3. [French translation] 2021, with C. Bonnet and É. Guillon, Les Phéniciens. Une civilisation méditerranéenne, Paris (288 pp.). ISBN: 979-10-210-5102-7.


  • 2021, with S. Lebreton, “Gods at the borders: Introduction”, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 21/22 (2019-2020), 221-224.
  • 2021, “‘Je serai qui je serai’ (Exode 3,14) Portrait d’une divinité qui serait sans nom et sans image”, in C. Bonnet (ed.), Noms de dieux ! Portraits onomastiques de dieux antiques, Toulouse, 257-280.
  • 2020, “Noms de dieux et théologie négative au Levant dans l’Antiquité”, Revue d’Histoire des Religions 237/2, 211-237.
  • 2020, with A. Guedon, “Entre corps et esprit : les règles de la diét-éthique juive et égyptienne”, in E. Galbois – S. Rougier-Blanc (eds), Maigreur et minceur dans les sociétés anciennes. Grèce, Orient, Rome, Bordeaux, 305-330.
  • 2019, with C. Bonnet, M. Bianco, É. Guillon, T. Galoppin, A. Laurent, and S. Lebreton, “Mapping ancient gods: naming and embodiment beyond ‘anthropomorphism’. A survey of the field in echo to the books of M.S. Smith and R. Parker”, Mediterranean Historical Review 34/2, 207-220.
  • 2018, with C. Bonnet, M. Bianco, É. Guillon, T. Galoppin, A. Laurent, and S. Lebreton, “‘Le dénominations des dieux nous offrent comme autant d’images dessinées’ (Julien, Lettres 89b, 291 b). Repenser le binôme théonyme-épithète”, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 84/2, 567-591.
  • 2018, “‘Imagine There’s no Peoples’. A Claim Against the Identity Approach in Phoenician Studies Through Comparaison with the Israelite Field”, Rivista di Studi Fenici 46, 11-27.
  • 2017, “Ancora sulla ‘questione ebraica’: riflessioni per un’epistemologia dell’antico Israele”, Quaderni del ramo d’oro 9, 109-143.
  • 2017, “Localiser les puissances divines. Le lexique de l’architecture cultuelle dans l’ancien Israël et son contexte levantin”, in M. Albert-Llorca – N. Belayche – C. Bonnet (eds), Puissances divines à l’épreuve du comparatisme. Constructions, variations et réseaux relationnels, Turnhout, 355-378.
  • 2017, with C. Bonnet, “The Jerusalem temple between ‘theology’ and archaeology: which issues, what dialogue?”, in P. Boissinot (ed.), Archaeology and Social Sciences. Acts of the Congress for the 40th anniversary of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Palethnologie 9, 31-51.
  • 2016, “Acheter la Terre Promise : Les contrats d’achat de la terre et leur rôle dans la définition ethnique de l’ancien Israël”, in G. Garbati – T. Pedrazzi (eds), Transformation and Crisis in the Mediterranean. “Identity” and Inteculturality in the Levant and Phoenician West during the 8th-5th centuries bce, Rome, 61-80.
  • 2015, “God leading his people: Exodus’ longue durée”, in A.K. de Hemmer Gudme – I. Hjelm (eds), Myths of Exile: History and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible, London-New York, 28 -50.
  • 2011, “Cities roaming around, the code of movement: a linguistic and iconographic survey”, Studi Epigrafici e Linguistici sul Vicino Oriente Antico 28, 37- 53.




  • Elected Secretary of EABS (European Association of Biblical Studies)

  • Associated member of the “Institute of Heritage Science” (ISPC, CNR) Rome, Italy
  • Redactor of the Rivista di Studi Fenici, CNR, Rome, Italy
  • Field editor (Old Testament) of the Journal AABNER (Advances in Ancient, Biblical, and Near Eastern Research)