Christoph Uehlinger

Christoph Uehlinger, Prof. Dr.

Professor für Allgemeine Religionsgeschichte und Religionswissenschaft

Phone: +41 44 634 47 32

Address: Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar, Kantonsschulstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich

Room number: KAA-G-03


1. Short CV

Born October 1, 1958, in Zurich, 1977-82 studies in (Roman-Catholic) Theology in Fribourg and Jerusalem, wild cards in Egyptology and ancient Near Eastern studies in Fribourg, Bern and London; 1989 PhD, 1993 habilitation in Fribourg (Old Testament and Biblical World), 1984-89 assistant, 1989-91 lecturer, 1991-2003 senior lecturer at the Biblical Institute/Department of Biblical Studies, University of Fribourg (1998-2001 Department chair). Since October 1, 2003, full professor in History of Religions/Comparative Religion, University of Zurich; 2006-2011 founding chair of UZH’s Department of Religious Studies. Since 2006 member, 2008-2010 co-director of URPP "Asia and Europe". 1993-2003 chairman Swiss Society of Ancient Near Eastern Studies; 2006-2011 co-chair, 2011-2017 treasurer Swiss Society for the Study of Religions. Senior editor (with S. Bickel, T. Römer and D. Schwemer) of the series Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis and Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis. Series archaeologica; co-editor Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, Zürcher Bibelkommentare. Altes Testament and CULTuREL.

Married and happily so, three adult children (*1984, *1987, *1990).

2. Research interests

(see UZH research database Forschungsdatenbank)

  • History of Religions (esp. Near Eastern and Mediterranean antiquity)
  • Judaism – Christianities – Islam
  • Visible / Material Religion
  • Method and Theory in the Study of Religion\s

4. Selected publications (in English; see German page for more)

In a nutshell
“Stamp Seals and the Song of Songs”, in: Society of Biblical Literature – Bible Odyssey Project, 2015.
"Tower of Babel and Mesopotamian Influence?”, in: Society of Biblical Literature – Bible Odyssey Project, 2013.


  • [With Konrad Schmid, eds.] Laws of Heaven, Laws of Nature: Legal Interpretations of Cosmic Phenomena in the Ancient World (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 276), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016.
  • [With Susanne Bickel, Silvia Schroer and René Schurte, eds.] Images as Sources. Studies on ancient Near Eastern artefacts and biblical texts inspired by the work of Othmar Keel (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, Special volume), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007.
  • [With Claudia E. Suter, eds.] Crafts and Images in Contact. Studies on Eastern Mediterranean art of the first millennium BCE (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 210), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005.
  • [Ed.] Images as media. Sources for the cultural history of the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean (Ist millennium BCE) (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 175), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000.
  • [With Othmar Keel] Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel, transl. Thomas T. Trapp, Minneapolis: Fortress Press & Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998 [“Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award: Best Scholarly Book on Biblical Archaeology”, 1999].
  • [With Beat Sitter, eds.] Partnership in Archaeology: Perspectives of a Cross-Cultu­ral Dialogue (14th Symposium of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences), Fri­bourg: University Press, 1997.
  • [With Benjamin Sass, eds.] Studies in the Iconography of Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals (Orbis Bib­licus et Orientalis 125), XXIV + 336 Seiten, Fribourg: Universi­ty Press & Göt­tin­gen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993.

Contributions to collective volumes

  • Learning by Doing – Distinguishing Different Hands at Work in the Drawings and Paintings of Kuntillet ʽAjrud, in: I. Finkelstein, C. Robin & T. Römer (eds.), Alphabets, Texts and Artefacts in the Ancient Near East: Studies Presented to Benjamin Sass, Paris: Van Dieren, 2016, 489-511. PDF
  • Is the Critical, Academic Study of the Bible Inextricably Bound to the Destinies of Theology?, in: Lester L. Grabbe & Marjo Korpel (eds.), Open-mindedness in the Bible and Beyond. A Volume of Studies in Honour of Bob Becking (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 616), London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015, 287-302. PDF
  • Neither Eyewitnesses, nor Windows to the Past, but Valuable Testimony in its Own Right. Remarks on Iconography, Source Criticism, and Ancient Data Processing, in: H. G. M. Williamson (ed.), Understanding the History of Ancient Israel (Proceedings of the British Academy, 143), Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 173-228. PDF (PDF, 9651 KB)
  • Arad, Qitmit – Judahite Aniconism vs. Edomite Iconic Cult? Questioning the Evidence, in: G. Beckman & T. J. Lewis (eds.), Texts, Artifacts and Images. Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion (Brown Judaic Studies, 346), Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 2007, 80-112. PDF (PDF, 2349 KB)
  • Visual Representation: Early Israel and Judaism, in: Sarah I. Johnson (ed.), Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press Reference Library), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, 608-610. PDF
  • Clio in a World of Pictures – Another Look at the Lachish Reliefs from Sennacherib’s Southwest Palace at Nineveh, in: L.L. Grabbe (ed.), ‘Shut Up Like A Bird in a Cage’: The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BCE (ESHM 4; JSOT.S 363), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003, 221-305. PDF (PDF, 5784 KB)
  • Anthropomorphic Cult Statuary in Iron Age Palestine and the Search for Yahweh’s Cult Images, in: K. van der Toorn (ed.), The Image and the Book: Iconic Cults, Aniconism, and the Veneration of the Holy Book in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology, 21), Leuven: Peeters, 1997, 97-156. PDF (PDF, 3348 KB)

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • Distinctive or diverse? Conceptualizing ancient Israelite religion in its southern Levantine setting: Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 4 (1, 2015: Commonalities and Differences: Religion(s) of Iron Age II Israel and Judah in Context) 1-24. PDF
  • Approaches to Visual Culture and Religion: Disciplinary Trajectories, Interdisciplinary Connections, and Some Conditions for Further Progress: Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 27 (4-5, 2015; “Visual Culture and Religious Studies”, ed. Daniel Dubuisson) 384-422. PDF
  • Virtual Vision vs. Actual Show: Strategies of Visualization in the Book of Ezekiel: Welt des Orients 45 (1, 2015: Ezekiel in its Babylonian Context) 62-84. PDF
  • Religion in the Ancient Levant: Confronting Gazes Now and Then: Material Religion 8 (4, 2012) 525-527 [in conversation with Terje Størdalen, Locating the Textual Gaze: Then and Now, ibid. 521-524; further responses by A. S. Amar and Birgit Meyer]. PDF
  • [With Susanne Müller Trufaut] Ezekiel 1, Babylonian cosmological scholarship and iconography: attempts at further refinement: Theologische Zeitschrift 57 (2001) 140-171. PDF (PDF, 4038 KB)
  • The “Canaanites” and other ‘Pre-Israelite’ Peoples in Story and History. Part I: Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 46 (1999) 546-578; Part II: Freiburger Zeitschrft für Philosophie und Theologie 47 (2000) 173-198. PDF (PDF, 2964 KB)

Dictionary entries

  • Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion, Leiden etc.: Brill, 2007ff [Brill Online]: u. a. “Amulet”, “Ashdod”, “Ashkelon”, “Bullae and Seals”, “Composite beings”, “Dragon”, “Gaza”, “God: Representations and symbols”, “Iconography”, “Ivory carving”, “Jewelry”, “Moon”, “Numismatics”, “Snake”, “Seals, stamps”, “Symbol, symbol theories”, “Veneration of images”.
  • Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Leiden: Brill, 1995, 2nd ed. 1999: „Leviathan“, „Nimrod“, „Nisrok“, „Riding Horseman“.

Review articles

  • Rez. W. G. Lambert, Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Mythology. Selected Essays. Edited by A.R. George and T.M. Oshima (Orientalische Religionen in der Antike, 15), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016: Numen 64 (1, 2017) 109-113. PDF (PDF, 427 KB)
  • Interested companionship: a review article [Rez. John R. Hinnells (ed.), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, London – New York: Routledge, 2005; Robert A. Segal (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, Malden, MA – Oxford – Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, 2006]: Numen 54 (2006) 359-384. PDF
  • Rez. J. Cheryl Exum, Song of Songs (Old Testament Library), Louisville, KT: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005: Review of Biblical Literature 09/2006 [10 pp.,
  • Rez. Peter Antes, Armin W. Geertz, Randi R. Warne (eds.), New Approaches to the Study of Religion. Vol. 1: Regional, Critical, and Historical Approaches; Vol. 2: Textual, Comparative, Sociological, and Cognitive Approaches (Religion and Reason, 42-43), Berlin – New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004: Theologische Literaturzeitung 131 (6, 2006) 689-692.
  • Rez. Mark S. Smith, The Early History of God. Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel. Second edition, with a foreword by Patrick D. Miller (The Biblical Resource Series), Grand Rapids, MI – Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company & Dearborn, MI: Dove Booksellers, 2002: Review of Biblical Literature 06/2003 (6 pp.,
  • Westsemitisch beschriftete Stempelsiegel: ein Corpus und neue Fragen (Rez. N. Avigad – B. Sass, Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals, Jerusalem 1997): Biblica 79 (1998) 103-119.
  • Israelite Aniconism in Context (Rez. T.N.D. Mettinger, No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context [ConBOT 42], Stockholm 1995): Biblica 77 (1996) 540-549. PDF

5. Publications in ZORA