Writer, Editor, & Lecturer in
Biblical Studies, Spirituality,
and Pastoral Psychology
Phone: (508) 556-4362
With a progressive Catholic background steeped in Jesuit spirituality, Dr. Frechette has decades of experience in spiritual direction and pastoral care with diverse populations, including Christians of various communions, as well as people with other religious and spiritual interests. He is passionate about his work with individuals and groups, and he brings practical sensitivity to his research and publication at the intersection of biblical studies, spirituality, and pastoral care. As a speaker and writer he offers refreshing insights into ways in which biblical texts can provide resources for addressing loss and trauma, and he stands at the forefront among scholars who interpret biblical texts through the lens of trauma studies. A survivor of adverse childhood experience and active in 12-step recovery, he seeks to make biblical texts accessible by integrating biblical interpretation with psychological insights relevant to suffering, loss, trauma, and addiction. He advocates embracing LGBTQ+ populations within Christianity, and his interests in writing, speaking, and pastoral work include addressing the trauma that these populations have sustained because of religious systems that reject them. He seeks to integrate training in social work with work in biblical interpretation to produce resources that support personal and social transformation.
Dr. Frechette earned his doctorate in Old Testament at Harvard University and his Master of Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology (Berkeley); he is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at Salem State University. He served on the faculty of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry until 2014 and since then has held visiting faculty positions at St. Mary’s University (San Antonio) and College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA). He is a contributing editor for New Testament Abstracts, and his work as a freelance editor includes acquiring academic biblical books for Paulist Press. He has done pastoral work in numerous parishes, hospitals, and prisons in Northern and Southern California and in Massachusetts. He currently conducts a private practice in spiritual direction, however he is not currently taking new clients for spiritual direction.
Here are are some selections from Dr. Frechette's publications:
Also reprinted in All Shall Be Well: Readings
for Lent and Easter, edited by Michael Leach,
James Keane, and Doris Goodnough
(Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2015).
John Kaltner and Dr. Frechette co-authored this introductory book comparing how the Qur'an and the Bible interpret prior traditions in portraying well-known characters. Click here for more information.
Dr. Frechette co-edited this book and
co-authored the programmatic introduction to it; also see his essay on the violent imagery in Isaiah 47. For more information click here.
This reflection appeared on Dec. 28, 2020 in Bondings 2.0: A daily blog of Catholic LGBTQ news, opinion, and spirituality maintained by New Ways Ministry, which "educates and advocates for justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger church and civil communities."
Primary Interests in Writing and Lecturing:
Interpreting Scripture in ways that support cultivation of personal and social transformation
Engaging spirituality through psychological theory, trauma studies, and critical biblical interpretation
Exploring myth, symbol, and ritual in spirituality today through analogs from the biblical world
Th.D. Harvard University
M.S.W. Salem State University (anticipated graduation, 2021)
S.T.L. Boston College
M.Div. Jesuit School of Theology of the University of Santa Clara (Berkeley)
B.A. Rockhurst University
Acquiring academic biblical books for Paulist Press
Membership in Professional Organizations:
Old Testament Biblical Colloquium
Mesopotamian Ritual-prayers of “Hand-lifting” (Akkadian Šuillas): An Investigation of Function in Light of the Idiomatic Meaning of the Rubric. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 379. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2012.
This book is available from Ugarit-Verlag.
The following reviews of this book are available in PDF format by clicking on the following links:
Kaltner, John and Christopher G. Frechette, How the Qur’an Interprets the Bible: Comparing Islamic, Jewish, and Christian Scriptures. New York: Paulist, 2020.
Frechette, Christopher G., Christopher R. Matthews, and Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, eds. Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ and Richard J. Clifford, SJ: Opportunity for No Little Instruction. New York, Paulist: 2014.
Reading Guide for a Study Bible:
“The Pentateuch [reading guide].” In The Catholic Study Bible. 3rd ed. Edited by D. Senior, J. J. Collins, and M. A. Getty, RG109-178. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
“Two Biblical Motifs of Divine Violence as Resources for Meaning-making in Engaging Self-blame and Rage after Traumatization,” Pastoral Psychology, 66 (2017): 239–49; online Dec. 6, 2016, DOI 10.1007/s11089-016-0745-x.
“The Old Testament as Controlled Substance: How Insights from Trauma Studies Illuminate Healing Capacities in Potentially Harmful Texts.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 69 (2015): 20–34
“The Ritual-prayer Nisaba 1 and its Function.” With an edition of Nisaba 1 by Ivan Hruša. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 11 (2011): 70-93.
“Chiasm, Reversal and Biblical Reference in 1QH 11.3-18 (= Sukenik Column 3): A Structural Proposal.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 21 (2000): 71–102.
Peer-reviewed Articles in Books:
“Daughter Babylon Raped and Bereaved (Isaiah 47): Symbolic Violence and Meaning-Making in Recovery from Trauma.” In Bible through the Lens of Trauma. Edited by E. Boase and C. G. Frechette, 67–83. Semeia Studies 86. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2016.
“Destroying the Internalized Perpetrator: A Healing Function of the Violent Language Against Enemies in the Psalms.” In Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights from Biblical Studies and Beyond. Edited by E.-M. Becker, J. Dochhorn, and E. Holt, 71–84. Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica 2. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen, 2014.
“Reconsidering ŠU.IL2.LA(2) as a Classifier of the Ašipu in Light of the Iconography of Reciprocal Hand-Lifting Gestures.” In Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 18-22, 2005. Edited by R. Biggs, J. Myers and M. Roth, 39-46. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 62. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. View a free copy of the full text (PDF) of this book.
Frechette, Christopher G. and Elizabeth Boase. “Defining ‘Trauma’ as a Useful Lens for Biblical Interpretation.” In Bible through the Lens of Trauma. Edited by E. Boase and C. G. Frechette, 1–23. Semeia Studies 86. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2016.
Articles in Books:
“Blessing the Lord with the Angels: Allusion to Jubilees 2.2 in the Song of the Three Jews.” In Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, and Richard J. Clifford, SJ: Opportunity for No Little Instruction. Edited by C. Frechette, C. Matthews, and T. Stegman, 118–34. New York, Paulist: 2014.
“Why bless God?” In Reading the Old Testament: Pastoral Essays in Honor of Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P. Edited by C. Carvalho, 111–19. New York: Paulist, 2013.
“‘Happy are Those Who Fear the LORD’: Hope, Desire, and Transformative Worship.” In Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment. Edited by R. Lennan and N. Pineda-Madrid, 128–41. New York: Paulist, 2013.
The section “Shuillas” (pp. 24-35) in Alan Lenzi, Christopher Frechette, and Anna Zernecke. “Introduction.” In Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. Edited by A. Lenzi, 1-68. Ancient Near East Monographs 3. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011. View a free copy of the full text (PDF) of this book.
“A Shuilla: Nisaba 1.” In Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. Edited by A. Lenzi, 351-66. Ancient Near East Monographs 3. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011. View a free copy of the full text (PDF) of this book.
“Grief.” In vol. 9 of The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 947–50. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015.
“Blessings and Curses.” In vol. 1 of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. Edited by B. Strawn, 59–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
“Blessing 1: Ancient Near East.” In vol 4. of The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 130-33. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
“The Catholic Biblical Association of America.” In vol. 4 of The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 1067-68. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
Articles in a Concise Biblical Commentary:
“Lamentations.” In The Paulist Biblical Commentary. Edited by J. Aguilar, R. Clifford, D. Harrington†, et al., 215–223. New York, Paulist: 2018.
“The Prayer of Manasseh” and “Psalm 151.” In The Fortress Commentary on the Bible. Edited by G. Yee et al., 1083–85, 1087–89. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.
Christian Spirituality for Desolate Times: Dignity, Identity, and Meaning Rooted in God. New York: Paulist. Projected, 2022.
Grief in the Bible: Addressing Loss and Trauma through an Elastic Matrix of Grace. New York: Paulist, projected 2023.
Articles in peer-reviewed books:
“The Power, People, Place, and Plan of YHWH: Isaiah as Resilience Narrative.” In Resilienznarrative im Alten Testament. Edited by Judith Gärtner and Barbara Schmitz. Forschungen zum Alten Testament I. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, in press [anticipated 2021].
"Trauma Hermeneutics and the Cross-Cultural Validity of Insights from Western Psychology"
Courses Offered 2008–2018:
College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), 2017-18:
St. Mary's University (San Antonio), 2015-17:
Foundations of Reflection: Others (introduction to social sciences)
Foundations of Reflection: God (introduction to Christian theology)
Major Old Testament Themes: Pentateuch
Major New Testament Themes (with focus on Luke, John, Revelation)
Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Summer 2014:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, 2008-2014
Fellowship, Grants, Honors, and Awards:
2015 Catholic Press Association Third Place Award for Academic Studies in Scripture, for co-edited volume, Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ and Richard J. Clifford, SJ.
2014 Annual Powell Fund Speaker for the Creative Word, Pilgrim Church (UCC), Sherborn, MA
2012 Research Expense Grant, Boston College
2003–2004 Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, Harvard Divinity School
1998–2004 Harvard Divinity School Grant
1998 American Bible Society Scholarly Achievement Award
1998, 1989, 1988, 1982 Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
1986–1990 Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley Grant
1983 Winner, Rossner Philosophy Competition, Rockhurst University
1982 Inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, National Jesuit Honor Society
1979 Valedictorian, Precious Blood Seminary (High School), Liberty, MO