Dr Casey Strine
Department of History
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature
Senior Admissions Tutor
Full contact details
Department of History
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the University of Sheffield in 2013 as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow. In 2016, I started in the Department of History, teaching Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature.
I study the history, literature, and cultures of the ancient Near East (known to most as the Middle East) with a specialization in ancient Israel and Judah, the two societies that produced the texts known widely as the Old Testament. My approach employs the study of migration to reconstruct ancient history and to interpret ancient texts. I’m especially interested in how involuntary migration—people fleeing environmental disasters, war, or persecution in various forms—shapes societies, influences the ways groups construct their history, tell those stories, and respond to the other cultures they meet in their movements.
My doctorate is from the University of Oxford. The monograph emerging from my thesis was awarded the Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise in 2015.
At present, I am Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF). The PEF was founded in 1865 and is the oldest organization in the world created specifically for the study of the Levant, the southern portion of which was conventionally known as ‘Palestine’. PEF promotes and funds research into various aspects of the Levant and seeks to disseminate that knowledge to a wide public through events, seminars, and publications.
D. Phil. (Oxford)
- Research interests
My research focuses on how the experience of involuntary migration influences the development of ethnic, national, and religious identity. I combine insights from the social scientific study of migration with historical sources (textual and material) in order to reconstruct the political, social, and cultural development of ancient Israel and Judah as well as for the interpretation of the literature of Israel, Judah, Assyria, and Babylonia.
Consider, for example, this summary of the main characters in the book of Genesis: Abraham migrates to Canaan, where environmental factors (famine, Gen 12) force him to migrate to Egypt; Isaac, born to Abraham in his old age, assimilates into the local culture to the extent that he will not leave it even when an environmental disaster strikes (again famine, Gen 26) even though he must drift around to survive; Jacob grows up in Canaan, but spends his early adulthood seeking asylum in Mesopotamia to avoid the aggression of his brother Esau, where he remains a refugee for 20 years (Gen 31); Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, becomes a victim of human trafficking, sold into slavery in Egypt (Gen 37).
This is an atypical summary of the patriarchal narrative. It nevertheless reflects the concerns of the text and underscores how inextricably Gen 12–50 is linked with the migratory experience of ancient Israelites and Judahites. Specifically involuntary migration, and how these people responded to that experience, shaped ancient Israelite and Judahite identity, along with the political and social structures they developed as a result of these experiences.
- View this article in WRRO Love the Stranger: Migration, the Bible, and Our Societies. Swindon: The British and Foreign Bible Society.
- When the Son of Man Didn't Come: A Constructive Proposal on the Delay of the Parousia. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
- Sworn Enemies: The Divine Oath, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Polemics of Exile. Walter de Gruyter.
- Digging up Armageddon: the search for the lost city of Solomon. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 152(2), 177-179.
- Winter 2020. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 152(1), 1-2.
- The famine in the land was severe: Environmentally induced involuntary migration and the Joseph narrative. Hebrew Studies: a journal devoted to Hebrew language and literature of all periods, 60, 55-69. View this article in WRRO
- Archaeology and history of eighth-century Judah. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 151(3-4), 271-273.
- Editorial. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 151(2), 103-104. View this article in WRRO
- Is »Exile« Enough? Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Need for a Taxonomy of Involuntary Migration. Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, 7, 289-315. View this article in WRRO
- Editorial. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 150(4), 261-262. View this article in WRRO
- The Study of Involuntary Migration as a Hermeneutical Guide for Reading the Jacob Narrative. Biblical Interpretation, 26(4-5), 485-498. View this article in WRRO
- Embracing asylum seekers and refugees: Jeremiah 29 as foundation for a Christian theology of migration and integration. Political Theology, 19(6), 478-496. View this article in WRRO
- On the Compositional Models for Ezekiel 38–39: A Response to William Tooman's Gog of Magog. Vetus Testamentum, 67(4), 589-601. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Everybody Knows: Engaged Research and the Changing Role of the Academic. Participations: journal of audience and reception studies, 14(1), 329-350.
- Ezekiel's Image Problem: The Mesopotamian Cult Statue Induction Ritual and the Imago Dei Anthropology in the Book of Ezekiel. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 76(2), 252-272.
- YHWH’s Battle against Chaos in Ezekiel: The Transformation of Judahite Mythology for a New Situation. Journal of Biblical Literature, 132(4), 883-903.
- The Role of Repentance in the Book of Ezekiel: A Second Chance for the Second Generation. The Journal of Theological Studies, 63(2), 467-491. View this article in WRRO
- Theological Anthropology and Anthropological Theology in the Book of Ezekiel, Das Buch Ezechiel (pp. 233-254). De Gruyter View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Your Name Shall No Longer Be Jacob, but Refugee: Involuntary Migration and the Development of the Jacob Narrative In Klutz T, Strine C & Keady J (Ed.), Scripture as Social Discourse: Social-Scientific Perspectives on Early Jewish and Christian Writings (pp. 51-70). London: T&T Clark.
- View this article in WRRO Sister Save Us: The Matriarchs as Breadwinners and Their Threat to Patriarchy in the Ancestral Narrative In Halvorson-Taylor M & Southwood K (Ed.), Women and Exilic Identity in the Hebrew Bible (pp. 53-66). London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark.
- View this article in WRRO The Prospects and Challenges of Dual Citizenship in the Old Testament In Mohammed G (Ed.), Divided Allegiances? Christian Reflections on Citizenship with Especial Focus on the Middle East (pp. 103-120). London: Jessica Kingsley.
- Imitation, Subversion, and Transformation of the Mesopotamian MīsPî Ritual in the Book of Ezekiel’s Depiction of Holy Space, Holy Places in Biblical and Extrabiblical Traditions (pp. 65-78). V&R unipress
- Theology of Ezekiel In Schüle A, Ballentine S, Dell K, Black C & Sumney J (Ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Chaoskampf Against Empire: YHWH's Battle Against Gog (Ezek 38–39) As Resistance Literature In Lenzi A & Stökl J (Ed.), Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires (pp. 87-108). Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature.
- Ritual Body in Ezekiel 37 In Taylor J (Ed.), The Body as Cultural Entity in Biblical, Early Christian and Jewish Texts (pp. 41-57). London: T & T Clark.
- Pseudepigraphy and the Canon In Hays C & Ansberry C (Ed.), Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism (pp. 125-157). London: SPCK.
- The Ethics of the Jacob Narrative In Crouch C (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Ethics of the Hebrew Bible Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- To Separate Peacefully: Re-evaluating the Relationship between Genesis 12 and Genesis 13 Using the Social Scientific Study of Migration In Strine C & Klutz T (Ed.), Scripture in Social Discourse: Social Scientific Perspectives on Early Jewish and Christian Writings London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark.
- Religion in Israel: Pre-Exile and Exile In Dell K (Ed.), The Biblical World London: Routledge.
- Judah's Reaction to the Babylonian Exile In Holm T (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religions in the Ancient Near East Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Conference proceedings papers
- Minutes of the annual general meeting for the Palestine Exploration Fund, 7 June 2018. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Vol. 151(1) (pp 87-98)
- Involuntary Migration and the Joseph Narrative: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Introduction. Hebrew Studies, Vol. 60(1) (pp 39-41)
- Research group
I am keen to supervise postgraduate students working in History or through the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. Students with interests in the political, social and cultural history of ancient Israel and Judah—particularly those exploring the impact of migration on these societies and their texts—the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and the relationship between the visual arts and the Bible are welcome to be in touch with me.
- Current Students
- Teaching interests
I teach a range of modules in ancient history, intellectual history, and public history.
- Teaching activities
- HST21008 - Life Worth Living
- HST2035 - The Ten Commandments: Ancient Law as Historical Source
- HST2521 - From Pharaoh to Alexander: Battle for the Ancient World
- HST3186/87 - Forced Into Being: How Involuntary Migration Created Ancient Israel
- HST6091 - Migration in the Ancient World
- Public engagement
A socially engaged project in which people seeking asylum and living as refugees read and discussed texts from the Book of Genesis dealing with involuntary migration in order to inform art making (monoprints, ceramic vessels) expressing their interpretation of and reaction to these stories.
Co-curated with Emilie Taylor the ‘Back Where You Came From’ Exhibition, hosted in The Gallery @ 35 Chapel Walk, Sheffield, during Refugee Week 2015.
What Does the Bible Say about Migration?
Casey has written a number of pieces for the British Bible Society on the topic of the Bible and migration. They include a policy reflection for Members of Parliament called ‘What the Bible Says About Migration’ and a six-week study entitled ‘Love the Stranger: Migration, the Bible, and Our Societies’.