Boston College
VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY 
ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY, SAN ANTONIO
 

Contact Information: 
Email: cfrechette@stmarytx.edu 
Phone: 210-436-3229  
Mailing address:
St. Mary's University
Theology Department, Box 85
1 Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228
 

My primary passion for research and teaching is to interpret the biblical text in ways that uncover its capacity to support people in cultivating relationship with God, particularly when they face complex and difficult situations. My scholarship focuses mainly on interpreting the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible and related ancient texts. However, in my teaching I stress that both the Old Testament and New Testament constitute for Christians a single canon, and I help students to see relationships among particular texts across both testaments. 
 
I recognize that much of what is in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, can seem strange and even bizarre to modern readers. My work in the languages, literature, history, and cultures of the ancient Near East is aimed at interpreting these texts in ways that are grounded in the human realities from which they emerged and in which they were employed in antiquity. I also attempt to draw analogies between contemporary human experience and what is reflected in the biblical texts. In this regard, I am particularly interested in employing insights from the social sciences into how people experience, respond to, and recover from loss and trauma. I have begun to employ these insights to open new avenues of discussion in postcolonial biblical criticism. I am currently co-chair of the consultation for the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, “Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma.”
 
For a window into how my research into ancient culture informs my biblical scholarship, visit the Boston College Library Faculty Publication Highlights site which features a 30-minute video interview of me discussing my recent monograph.
 


Academic Degrees:

 
Th.D. Harvard University, 2005
S.T.L. Weston Jesuit School of Theology, 1998 
M.Div. Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, 1990 
B.A. Rockhurst University, 1983 
 

Research Interests:
 

Biblical interpretation informed by psychological theory, trauma studies, and postcolonial theory
Pastoral and theological appropriation of biblical literature
Myth and ritual in the ancient Near East
The Books of Isaiah, Psalms, and Lamentations
Liturgical context of biblical texts in antiquity and in the present
 

Course offered at St. Mary's University, Fall 2015:

SMC 1313 Foundations of Reflection: Others

Course offered in the Boston College Lynch School of Education, Summer 2014:

PY742 = APSY753501 Exploring Spirituality in Psychological Practice (PDF)

Courses taught in the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, 2008-2014
 

Fall 2012
TM 515 Core Narrative of Old Testament: Genesis to 2 Kings (PDF)
TM 708 Depictions of God in the Bible (PDF)
 
Spring 2013
TM 514 The Psalms: Prayer of Israel, Prayer of Christians (PDF)
TM 821 Grief and the Bible (co-taught with Dr. Melissa Kelley) (PDF)
 
Additional Courses Taught
TM 641 The Prophets from Moses to Jesus (PDF)
TM 826 Introduction to the Old Testament (PDF)
TM 711 Seminar: The Book of Isaiah (PDF)
 
 
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. View highlights of this book, including a 30-minute video interview with the author and a copy of the review of this book published in Orientalia. View the review of this book published online in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

Edited Book:
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.

Journal articles:
“The Old Testament as Controlled Substance: How Insights from Trauma and Disaster Studies Illuminate Healing Capacities in Potentially Harmful Texts.” Interpretation 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: 
“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.
 
“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.

“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.

Encyclopedia articles:
“Blessings and Curses.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. Edited by B. Strawn. 1:59–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
 
“Blessing 1: Ancient Near East.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 4:130-33. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
 
“The Catholic Biblical Association of America.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al., 4:1067-68. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
 
Articles in a concise Bible commentary:
“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:

Monographs:
The Book of Isaiah. Co-authorship with Blake Couey of two-volume commentary, primary responsibility for chapters 40-66. Illuminations series, Eerdmans, projected 2020. 
 
Elastic Matrix of Grace: Biblical Texts Responding to Loss and Trauma
. Paulist Press, projected 2017.
 
Reading Guide for a study Bible:
“Reading Guide to the Pentateuch.” In The Catholic Study Bible. 3rd ed. Edited by J. Collins. New York: Oxford University Press, in press [for release 2016]. [50,000 words]

Edited book:
Boase, Elizabeth and Christopher Frechette, eds. Through the Lens of Trauma: Papers of the Society of Biblical Literature Consultation on Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma, 2013–2014.

Journal article:
“Reciprocal Recognition: A Neglected Convention in the Semantics of brk (to bless) in Classical Hebrew” In preparation.

Encyclopedia article:
“Grief.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by H.-J. Klauck, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, et al. Berlin: de Gruyter, in press.

Article in a concise Bible commentary:
“Lamentations.” In The Paulist Bible Commentary. Edited by J. Aguilar, R. Clifford, D. Harrington†, et al. New York, Paulist: in press [for release 2018].