Chris Frilingos
(517) 432-0062

729 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyReligious StudiesJewish Studies

Biblical Literature; Apocalypses and Apocalypticism; Ancient Mediterranean Religions; History of Christianity


Christopher A. Frilingos is Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. He writes and teaches about biblical literature and early Christianity. He studied at Greensboro College in North Carolina, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and earned a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His latest book is Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Family Trouble in the Infancy Gospels(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

Some of his research into early Christian stories about the holy family appears online in The Conversation, including “Did early Christians believe that Mary was a teenager? It’s Complicated” (Nov. 14, 2017), and “How parenthood has changed how I read ancient stories of Joseph and Mary’s relationship with Jesus” (Dec.12, 2017)

His earlier book, Spectacles of Empire: Monsters, Martyrs, and the Book of Revelation, is also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.


Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2001 (Religious Studies)

M.Litt., University of St. Andrews, Scotland 1993 (New Testament)

B.A., Greensboro College 1992 (English)

Principle Scholarly Interests

Biblical Literature, Early Christianity


REL 150 Introduction to Biblical Literature

REL 320 Christianity

REL 420 Birth of Christianity

REL 491 Special Topics in Religious Studies: Jesus in History and Tradition

IAH 221A Ancient World: Pagans, Christians, and Jews

University News

Four Faculty Members Promoted to Full Professor
Published November 20, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Brown brick building surrounded by green and red trees in front of blue sky
The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to honor Kristie Dotson, Christopher Frilingos, Mohammad Khalil, and Kyle Whyte who each have been promoted to full professor. They were recognized…Read now »
Two Professors to Receive Quality in Teaching Awards
Published October 18, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
brick building with a blue sky and colorful leaves
Two Professors from the College of Arts & Letters are recipients of the 2019 Mid-Michigan Spartans Quality in Teaching Award, which recognizes excellence in classroom instruction through the…Read now »
Julia Johnson
Published July 2, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
Woman with brown hair and glasses on a college campus
Name: Major, Graduation Date: Julia Johnson, B.A. Religious Studies, 2015, Concentration in Nonprofit Leadership, College of Arts & Letters, with a Specialization in Science,…Read now »