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Debora Tonelli

  • PHONE: 0461314249
  • FBK Trento
Short bio
Debora Tonelli is researcher at the Institute for Religious Studies of Bruno Kessler Foundation (Trent, Italy), and Invited Lecturer in Political Philosophy and Theology at Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselmo and at Gregoriana University (Roma). She worked as Visiting Scholar at Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life -Columbia University (NY, fall semester 2015). Moving from her background in Political Philosophy (PhD 2005, in Rome and Frankfurt/M, Germany) and Theology (PhD 2012, Münster, Germany), her current research and teaching activities are focused on the interaction between those two main fields, specifically inside the wider context of interreligious dialogue, with a key focus on the relationship between violence and biblical religion. Since 2013 she is coordinating an interdisciplinary research project on “Religions and Violence“ in collaboration with italian and foreign scholars, organizing workshops, seminars and scientific publications. The influence of literary images in the construction process of “religious imagery” supporting a violent conception of divinity and justifying violence in the name of God, is part of those fundamental political studies.
Research interests
Biblical Traditions Divine Violence Interreligious Dialogue Political Philosophy Political Theology Radicalism


  • Immagini di violenza divina nell’Antico Testamento, Dehoniane, Bologna 2014.
  • Le tavole di Mosè. I dieci comandamenti e l’origine della democrazia, Dehoniane, Bologna 2014.
  • Il Decalogo. Uno sguardo retrospettivo, Dehoniane, Bologna 2010 (forthcoming german translation spring 2016)


  • “Teologia e spazio pubblico”, in “Sociologia. Rivista quadrimestrale di scienze storiche e sociali”, 2/2011, Sturzo Institute, Rome.


  • La violenza ed i suoi immaginari religiosi: il rapporto con lo straniero nella Bibbia, (The Violence and its religious imaginary: the relationship with the foreign in the Bible) in «Politica e Società», n.1, 2014, pp. 59-75.
  • Tra mito e rivelazione: guerra e violenza nel canto di Debora (Between Myth and Revelation: War and Violence in Debora’s Song), in «Annali di studi religiosi», 13/2012, Bologna, pp. 71-90.
  • Literary images. To “go on the stage” of the divine violence in Ex 15, 1-18, in D. Pezzoli Olgiati-C. Rowland (edd.), Approaches to Vistuality in Religion, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht in the collection “Research in Contemporary Religion”, Göttingen 2011, pp. 221-234.