Spiritual Director
Pastoral Counselor 
Writer, Editor, & Lecturer in
Biblical Studies, Spirituality, 
and Pastoral Psychology

 

Email: christopher.g.frechette@gmail.com

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, and he works as a per diem chaplain at Notre Dame Long Term Care in Worcester, MA. He currently conducts a private practice in spiritual direction and pastoral counseling in Shrewsbury, MA and can also arrange to see clients in downtown Boston.

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).   

In this book, see Dr. Frechette's article, 

“‘Happy are Those Who Fear the Lord’: 

Hope, Desire, and Transformative Worship,”

at pages118–34. 

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.

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

 

Degrees:

  • 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

Editorial Work:

  • Acquiring academic biblical books for Paulist Press              

  • Freelance editing

Membership in Professional Organizations:

​​

Publications:

 

Monograph:

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:

Review by Claus Ambos, published in Orientalia. 

Review by William Morrow, published in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. 

Review by Martin Stol, published in Bibliotheca Orientalis.

Co-edited Books:

Boase, Elizabeth and Christopher G. Frechette, eds. Bible Through the Lens of Trauma. Semeia Studies 86. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016. This book is available from Amazon.com and from SBL Press.

Review by John R. L. Moxon, published in Review of Biblical Literature.

Review by Brandon Graftus, published in Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Review by Jessica Coblentz, published in Horizons.

Review by W. Dow Edgerton, published in Horizons in Biblical Theology.

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.

In 2015, this book received the award of third place in academic scripture from the Catholic Press Association of the United States. This book is available from Amazon.com and from Paulist Press.

Review by Janelle Peters, published in Review of Biblical Literature.

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.

 

Journal Articles:

“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.

 

Co-authored article:  
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.

Encyclopedia Articles:

“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.

 

Forthcoming Publications:

Co-authored book:

Kaltner, John and Christopher G. Frechette, How the Qur’an Interprets the Bible: Comparing Islamic, Jewish, and Christian Scriptures. New York: Paulist, in press, anticipated June, 2020.

 

Monograph:

Grief in the Bible: Addressing Loss and Trauma through an Elastic Matrix of Grace. New York: Paulist, projected 2022.

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