When Gods Speak to Men : Divine Speech according to Textual Sources in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin

14 et 15 juin 2018
_ Lille, Faculté de théologie – Maison des chercheurs, 60 bis rue du Port

en]An International Conference organized by [Stéphanie ANTHONIOZ (Université catholique de Lille et UMR8167), Alice MOUTON (CNRS UMR 8167) et Daniel PETIT (ENS et EPHE)

fr]Colloque international organisé par [Stéphanie ANTHONIOZ (Université catholique de Lille, UMR 8167), Alice MOUTON (CNRS UMR 8167) et Daniel PETIT (ENS et EPHE)

The ways men seek divine words in Antiquity through their prayers and rituals have often been studied, whether they look for words of encouragement or need to acquire some knowledge about a decision to take or an event to come. However, the ways divine words are articulated and mediated have seldom been studied in a comparative approach. In other words, the literary form each divine speech takes (narratives, letters, annals), the medium through which it is conveyed (dreams, oracles, prophecies or any other divinatory form), as well as the material object upon which it is inscribed (tablets, leather rolls or papyri, monumental inscriptions) deserve further attention.

Literary and divinatory forms should be of special interest, as much as the documents and material objects that are used to convey them. For instance, divine speech has sometimes been found on material supports that were deemed to be destroyed or recycled. Furthermore, it seems that the status of divine speech changed over time in different areas of the Ancient Mediterranean Basin. Its orality became worth preserving. Consequently, the material support acquired a status on its own, as much as divine speech itself.

The aim of this symposium is to bring together experts from various fields, namely History, History of Religion, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Palaeography, Linguistics, etc., in order to examine the diversity of divine speech as it is articulated and mediated. The contexts in which divine speech occurs will be examined, as well as its literary and material forms.


    Jeudi 14 juin 2018


  • S. Anthonioz, D. Petit and A. Mouton: Welcoming speech
  • D. Lefèvre (Geneva Univ.): When the Egyptian gods speak. Divine speech in context
  • G. Selz (Vienna Univ.): « The word of the god is with him the throughout the day ». Exploring divine speech and its functions for humans according to Sumerian sources
    • M. Nissinen (Helsinki Univ.): The Material Aspect of Prophecy
    • C. Roche-Hawley (CNRS): The Writing of the Gods in Ancient Mesopotamia

    Après midi

  • A. Mouton (CNRS): Divine Speech in Hittite Dreams
  • A. Gilan (Tel Aviv Univ.): Divine Speech in Hittite Historical Texts
  • S. Anthonioz (Lille Univ.): Biblical Prophecy: Writing and Media Associated
  • E. Tracy (St Andrews Univ.): Divine Human Relational Dialogue
    • A. Venanzi (Sorbonne Univ.): Communicating with the Gods: the West Semitic Inscriptions
        Vendredi 15 juin 2018


      1. C. le Feuvre (Sorbonne Univ.): Language of Gods and Cratylic Conceptions in Ancient Greek
      2. M. Lesgourgues (Montreal Univ. & Paris X Univ.): Gods’ secretaries: on preserving oracles in the oracular Greek shrines during Hellenistic and Roman times
      3. R. Loriol (Lyon Univ.): Divine Signs in Roman Narratives
      4. E. Tigchelaar (Leuven Univ.): The Transformation of Divine Speech in Second Temple Judaism


    • A. Ohali (Paris III Univ.): The Daughter of God: The Feminine Identity of the Heavenly Voice in Ancient Rabbinic Literature
    • S. Varlik (Istanbul 29 Mayis Univ.): Revelation in Islamic Philosophy between Intellect and Imagination
    • J.-B. Lecuit (Lille Univ.): Divine Speech from the Dogmatic Point of View
    • S. Anthonioz, D. Petit and A. Mouton: Closing remarks

    [Informations, programme et bulletin d’inscription

      ->http://theologie.icl-lille.fr/documents/actus/th%C3%A9o%20d%C3%A9pliant%20divine%20speech-HD%20mail.pdf ]