Instructor of Religion
Contact Info

Office: Cleveland 118

Phone: (540) 568-6394



B.S., Eastern Mennonite University

M.A., Eastern Mennonite University

Ph.D., The Catholic University of America



Dr. Trinka is a university-trained educator with experience in a broad range of instructional environments. Time spent in the Mediterranean and Levant as an instructor, researcher, tour leader, and student has also provided him with a unique toolset for bringing biblical texts and ancient Near Eastern contexts to life in novel ways for both new and seasoned readers.



Dr. Trinka applies social scientific research to the study of biblical texts, particularly findings from the fields of geography, critical spatial theory, archaeology, and the sociology of religion. His current research focuses on the intersections of migration and religion. He is especially interested in the phenomenon of internal religious pluralism in the contexts of mobility and migration.



Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Religion on the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Internal Religious Pluralism in Biblical and Early Israel.” Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (2020).

“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, 73 (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.


Co-Authored Volumes

Jonah: La Bible en ses Traditions. With Isaac Alderman, Jordan Schmidt, and Eric Wagner. Directed by Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, O.P. (Lueven: Peeters, 2020).


Content in Edited Volumes

“Mirrored Selves: Reflections on Religious Narrative(s) in the Lives of Migrants,” in Cultures of Migration: A Handbook. Edited by Jeffery H. Cohen and Ibrahim Sirkeci (Brookfield: Edward Elgar, 2020).

“Migrants, Identity, and Body Modification in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Media,” in Migration, Media, and Art. Edited by 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. Edited by Mark Roncace (Wingate, NC: Point of View, 2018).


Selected Speaking Engagements:

“Ancient Near Eastern Cultures of Mobility: A New Mobilities Perspective.” University of Pennsylvania, Center for Ancient Studies. (2020)

“Heterotopias of (Im-)Mobility: Island Incarcerations of Migrants.” Encarceramento e Sociedad: Intersectional Conference, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. (2020)

“Cut Off: Forced-Migration, Identity Transformation, and the Question of Joseph's Shaving in Genesis 41.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. (2019)

“Migration and Religion in the 21st Century in Light of the Call of Nostra Aetate.Nostra Aetate in Our TimeConference, Villanova University, Villanova, PA. (2020)

“Migration Literacy for Religious Studies.” Workshop for Colloquium on Migration and Religion, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. (2020)

“Religion in Transit among Middle Eastern and North African Migrants.” Katholische Universität – Zentrum Fluct und Migration, Eichstätt, Germany. (2019)                                         

“Body Modification, Assimilation, and Integration in the Story of Joseph.” The Migration Conference,  Bari, Italy. (2019)

“Colonizing the Highlands of Canaan: Migration and its Effects on Internal Religious Diversity in Early Israel.” Migration and Colonization in the Mediterranean during the 1stMillennium BC. Universidad Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. (2018)

“The End of Islands: Drawing Insight from John’s Apocalypse to Respond to Prisoner Radicalization and Apocalyptically-Oriented Terrorism.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. (2018)

“Migrants, Globalization, and Religion.” Migration, Refugees, and Humanity: The Kartepe Summit, Kocaeli, Turkey. (2018)                                                                                     

“Why We Cannot Afford to Ignore Migrant Religiosity.” Migration, Refugees, and Humanity: The Kartepe Summit, Kocaeli, Turkey. (2018)

“Considering the Prophet Jeremiah as a Religiously-Motivated Non-Mover.” The Migration Conference, Lisbon, Portugal. (2018)

“Touch in/and Job: The Subversion of Expectation through Experience.” PTSGSC Symposium: Christianity and the Body, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ. (2018)               

“Images at Rest: A Comparative Exploration of the Israelite Sabbath and the Neo-Babylonian Akītu Festival.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. (2017)

“'If you will only remain in this land': Considering Religion as a Factor in Jeremiah’s Migration Decision-Making Process.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual International Meeting, Berlin, Germany. (2017)



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