David L. Eastman 

Associate Professor of Religion


B.A., The Ohio State University
M.Litt., University of St Andrews
D.E.A., Université de Poitiers
M.A., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University



David Eastman teaches courses in New Testament, Christian history, and Western religions. A love of working with students prompted his initial decision to pursue graduate studies, and this remains an important priority in his professional life. He is also active in scholarly research and service.

His first book was on the early Christian veneration of the apostle Paul (Paul the Martyr: The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West, 2011) and has been the subject of nine reviews in academic journals. His second book was published in 2015: The Ancient Martyrdom Accounts of Peter and Paul. (See also Connect2 OWU and the Columbus Dispatch.) This volume features translations of and commentary on more than a dozen accounts of the martyrdoms of the two most famous Christian apostles and martyrs. In addition to his work on the apostles, he is interested in the ancient Christian cult of the saints and contemporary portrayals of antiquity in popular media (especially Jesus films).

He is currently working on two book projects: one on the various traditions concerning the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul (under contract with Oxford University Press), and one on martyrdom and persecution in the early centuries of Christianity. Eastman has published articles in some of the leading journals in the field (including one that won an international prize), chapters in volumes of collected essays, and entries in standard reference works on early Christianity and late antique religion, and he is a contributor to the Society of Biblical Literature’s Bible Odyssey website. He serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Early Christian Studies, as co-editor of a new book series from Pennsylvania State University Press entitled Inventing Christianity, on the Society of Biblical Literature’s Career Development Committee, on the program committee for the Society of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, and as co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature unit Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs.

He is also the director of Mapping the Martyrs. This digital humanities project supported by a Mellon Grant maps stories of martyrdom and persecution in the early Christian period and incorporates research done by OWU undergraduates.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family and reading or watching all things Sherlock Holmes, Magnum P.I., and Monty Python (“He’s not quite dead yet.”). He is also a big sports fan. He played two years of semi-professional baseball in France and now serves as the faculty liaison to the OWU football team, the public address announcer for OWU baseball, and the host of Coaches' Corner on OWU Radio.

Eastman and his family are strong advocates for improving the situation of children around the world, especially through efforts to eliminate human trafficking. He has also co-advised two OWU spring break trips to Love and Hope Children’s Home in El Salvador and has twice run the Columbus Marathon to raise money for the home’s education fund. He was honored in 2014 with The Bishop Frances Kearns Faculty of the Year Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015.

OWU Faculty Speakers Bureau Topics

History of Christianity
Religious Elements of the Middle East Crisis

Contact Info


Phillips Hall 117
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015

P 740-368-3822
E dleastma@owu.edu