Laura S. Nasrallah

Laura S. Nasrallah

Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
Prof. Laura Nasrallah


  • AB, Princeton University
  • MDiv, ThD, Harvard Divinity School


Laura Nasrallah's research and teaching bring together New Testament and early Christian literature with the archaeological remains of the Mediterranean world, and often engage issues of colonialism, gender, status, and power. Her first book, An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity, focuses on 1 Corinthians and on materials from the second- and third-century controversies over prophecy and the nature of the soul.

In Christian Responses to Roman Art and Architecture: The Second-Century Church Amid the Spaces of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2010) she argues that early Christian literature addressed to Greeks and Romans is best understood when read in tandem with the archaeological remains of the Roman world. Early Christians discussed justice, piety, and God's image in the midst of sculptures and monumental architecture asserting the value and marketability of Greek culture, as well as the justice, piety, and even divinity of the Roman imperial family and other elites. The Acts of the Apostles and the writings of Justin, Athenagoras, Tatian, and Clement are the foundational texts for this study.

She is also co-editor, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, of Prejudice and Christian Beginnings: Investigating Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies (Fortress Press, 2009) and, with Charalambos Bakirtzis and Steven J. Friesen, of From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē: Studies in Religion and Archaeology (Harvard University Press, 2010).

In 2014, she conducted the online course module Early Christianity: The Letters of Paul, offered through HarvardX/edX. Materials from that course can be found on our Letters of Paul site.

Among her current projects are a book on archaeology and the letters of Paul and a commentary on 1 Corinthians for the Hermeneia series. She is co-organizing an upcoming conference on religion and archaeology in early Christian Cyprus. The Office of the Provost funded a project on uses of the New Testament in U.S. popular culture and politics.

Full CV

Selected publications


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Contact Information

Divinity 317
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