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Prof. Dr. Ulrich Berges

Principal Investigator

Ulrich Berges

University of Bonn
Old Testament Studies' Department
Faculty of Catholic Theology
Regina-Pacis Weg 1a
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 7842



Current Position

Director of the Old Testament Studies Department


Ulrich Berges focuses on the biblical and especially Old Testament roots of dependency and the movements against oppression. What biblical texts were used for the legitimization and for the delegitimazation of dependency? What happens when these texts were used in the same context by oppressors and oppressed? It is highly probably that the different images of God strongly intervene in these antithetical strategies.

6 books, 2 edited volumes, approximately 100 articles and reviews. 40 national and international lectures, 20 supervised Master and Ph.D. theses.


  • 1998                    Habilitation in Old Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Muenster, Germany
  • 1994–1998          Postdoctoral Studies (Habilitation), Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Muenster, Germany
  • 1986–1988          Ph.D. at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1977–1986          Catholic Theology and Bible Studies, University of Eichstätt, Salzburg (Germany), Pontifical Gregorian
                                University and Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (Italy)

Academic Positions

  • 2009–present      Professor of Old Testament Studies, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2005–2009          Professor of Old Testament Studies, University of Muenster, Germany
  • 1998–2005          Professor of Old Testament Studies, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • 1994–1997          Director of "Arbeitskreis zur Erforschung der Kultur und Religion des Östlichen Mittelmeeres"
                                (Working Group on the Study of the Culture and Religion of the Eastern Mediterranean) (AZERKAVO)
  • 1989–1994          Profesor asociado: Facultad de Teología Pontificia y Civil de Lima, Perú

Additional Academic Activities and Memberships

  • Spokesperson for the working group of Catholic German-speaking Old Testament researchers (2007-2010)
  • Member of the executive board of the cluster of excellence “Religion und Politik in der Moderne und Vormoderne” ("Religion and Politics in Modernity and Premodernity") in Muenster,Germany, 2005-2007 (until shift to University of Bonn)
  • Project leader “Göttliche Gewalt in der Hebräischen Bibel” ("Divine Violence in the Hebrew Bible")
  • Full member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (since May 2012)
  • Member of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops' Conference) (since 2012)
  • Co-editor of the “Bonner Biblischen Beiträge” (BBB)
  • Co-editor of “Herders Biblischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament” (HThKAT)
  • Co-editor of “Altes Testament und Moderne” (ATM)
  • Member of the advisory board "Estudios Biblicos" (Madrid)
  • Member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (CBA)
  • Guest professorships at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and at the Facultad de Teologia in Lima, Perú
  • Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Third-party Funding

  • Project leader “Divine violence in the Hebrew Bible” in the cluster of excellence “Religion and Politics in the Modern as well as the Premodern Times” in Münster – about 350,000 euros for that part of the project
  • Selected Publications

    • “Der Richter der ganzen Welt, sollte der nicht Recht üben?“ (Gen 18,25) Zur Einhegung der göttlichen Gewalt durch Gerechtigkeit und Recht. [“Will not the Judge of all the Earth do Right?” (Gen 18:25) On the Containment of Divine Violence by Justice and Law]. In: U. Nembach (ed.): Informationes Theologiae Europae. Internationales Ökumenisches Jahrbuch für Theologie 19 (2016), 13-28.
    • With W.A.M. Beuken: Das Buch Jesaja. Eine Einführung. [The Book of Isaiah. An introduction]. Göttingen 2016.
    • Die dunklen Texte der Prophetie als Herausforderung für eine alttestamentliche Ethik. [The Dark Texts of Prophecy as a Challenge for an Old Testament Ethic]. In: C. Frevel (ed.): Mehr als Zehn Worte? Zur Bedeutung des Alten Testaments in ethischen Fragen. [More than 10 Words? On the Importance of the Old Testament in Ethical Questions]. Freiburg 2015, 345-373.
    • Jesaja 49-54. [Isaiah 49-54]. Freiburg in Breisgau 2015.
    • Die dunklen Seiten des guten Gottes. Zu Ambiguitäten im Gottesbild JHWHs aus religions- und theologiegeschichtlicher Perspektive. [The Dark Sides of the Good God. The Ambiguities in the Image of YHWH from a Perspective of History of Religion and Theology]. Paderborn 2013.
    • Jesaja. Der Prophet und das Buch. [Isaiah. The Prophet and his Book]. Leipzig 2010. Engl. translation: Sheffield 2012.
    • With R. Hoppe: Arm und Reich. [Poor and Rich]. (= Neue Echter Bibel – Themen 10). Würzburg 2009. Ital. translation: Il Povero e il Ricco nella Bibbia, EDB, Bologna 2011.
    • Klagelieder. [Lamentations]. Freiburg in Breisgau 2002.
    • Das Buch Jesaja. Komposition und Endgestalt. [The Book of Isaiah. Its Composition and Final Form]. Freiburg in Breisgau 1998. Engl. translation: Sheffield 2012.
    • Die Verwerfung Sauls. Eine thematische Untersuchung. [The Rejection of Saul. A Thematic Analysis]. Würzburg 1989.
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