Eric M. Trinka

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Religion & Philosophy Department Chair

I am a scholar of Bible and Religion with extensive experience teaching the academic study of religion and contexts of Biblical authorship and interpretation.

I believe that the academic study of religion cultivates a foundational cultural literacy among students and promotes lasting outcomes of self-awareness and civility. Students in my classes engage in textual analysis, peer-to-peer discussion, and problem-solving activities regarding the place of religion and the Bible in the public sphere.

My research investigates movement, religion, and religious texts across ancient and modern eras using approaches from migration studies and critical spatial studies.


Ph.D. Biblical Studies - The Catholic University of America (Awarded with distinction)

M.Phil. Theology and Religious Studies - The Catholic University of America

M.A. Religion - Eastern Mennonite University

B.S. Secondary History and Social Science Education - Eastern Mennonite University



Courses Taught:

RELG 101: Core Questions in Religious Studies

RELG 111: Global Religious Landscapes

RELG 202: Archaeology & the Bible

RELG 204: Bibles before The Bible

RELG 206: New Testament Letters

RELG 207: Abraham in Text & Tradition

RELG 208: Religions of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

RELG 220: Prophets, Messiahs, & Apocalypticism

RELG 221: Goddesses & the Feminine Divine

RELG 222: Cosmos & Conflict: A History of God and Satan

RELG 223: Religion, Animals, & the Environment

RELG 225: Religion, Medicine & Healthcare

RELG 309: Judaism Past & Present

RELG 314: Islam: Past & Present

RELG 320: Migration in/and the Bible

RELG 322: Justice in/and the Bible

RELG 323: Religion on the Move: Migration, Diaspora, & Pilgrimage

RELG 325: Between Heaven & Earth: Space & Place in the Bible

RELG 356: Women in Judaism, Christianity, & Islam



Cultures of Mobility, Migration, and Religion in Ancient Israel and Its World. London: Routledge, 2022.

Remembering Egypt: Migration, Memory, and Identity in Genesis 37-50 (in process, Routledge).


Co-authored Volumes

Jonah: La Bible en ses Traditions. With Isaac M. Alderman, Jordan Schmidt, and Eric Wagner. Directed by Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, O.P. Leuven: Peeters, 2024.


Edited Volumes

Religion, Religious Groups, and Migration, with Deniz Coşan Eke. London: Transnational Press, 2023.

Cultures of Mobility and Borders in the Ancient Near East. with Shane M. Thompson, (in progress, Zaphon).

Cultures of Borders and Bordering in the Ancient Near East. with Shane M. Thompson, (in progress, Lockwood Press).


Refereed Journal Articles

“Reading Migration in/and the Bible: A Review of the Field and Suggestions for Future Research,” Currents in Biblical Research (Forthcoming).

“Interdisciplinarity as Departure and Return: Methodological Boundary Crossing in the Ancient Near East,” with Isaac M. Alderman and Shane M. Thompson, Avar 1.1 (2022): 1-6.

“Religion on the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Internal Religious Pluralism in Biblical and Early Israel.” Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 33 (2019): 66-90.

“Migration and Internal Religious Pluralism: A Review of Present Findings.” Journal of Interreligious Studies 28 (2019): 3-23.

“The End of Islands: Drawing Insight from John’s Apocalypse to Respond to Prisoner Radicalization and Apocalyptically-Oriented Terrorism.” Religions 10.2 (2019): 1-14. DOI:10.3390/rel10020073

“‘If you will only remain in this land’: Migration Decision-Making and Jeremiah

as a Religiously Motivated Nonmover.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 80 (2018): 580-96.


Book Chapters

“Migration in the Ancient Near East,” The Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Studies of the Ancient Near East. Eds. Jason Silverman and Emmanuel Pfoh (in progress).


“Reflections from the Margins,” in At the Margins: Intersections of Power and Identity in the Ancient Near East. Eds. Sara Mohr and Shane M. Thompson (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2023).

“A New Mobilities Approach to Naming and Mapping Deities: Presence, Absence, and Distance.” in Naming and Mapping the Gods. Ed. Elodie Gullion. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022).

“Mirrored Selves: Reflections on Religious Narrative(s) in the Lives of Migrants,” in Cultures of Migration: A Handbook. Eds. Jeffery H. Cohen and Ibrahim Sirkeci (Brookfield: Edward Elgar, 2021).

“Migrants, Identity, and Body Modification in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Media,” in Communication of Migration in Media and Arts. Eds. Vildan Mahmutoglu and John Moran Gonzales (London: Transnational Press, 2020).

“The Hand of God and Divine Touch in the Book of Job,” in Viewpoints on the Bible. Ed. Mark Roncace (Wingate, NC: Point of View, 2018).

Professional Experience

Editor of Avar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Life and Society in the Ancient Near East

Editor of the book series, Life and Society in the Ancient Near East (LSANE)

American Schools of Overseas Research Session Chair Cultures of Mobility and Borders in the Ancient Near East 

Society of Biblical Literature Unit Chair – Exile as Forced Migration

Society of Biblical Literature Unit Committee Member – Space, Place, and Religious Experience in Antiquity

The Migration Conference – Organization Committee Member & Track Director for all religion and migration papers

Contact Info

Wiley Hall 006

P.O. Box 947
Emory, Virginia 24327



Wiley Hall, Emory & Henry College