Frances "Dorie"


Academic Title

Director, Austin Scholars Curriculum & Assistant Professor of Practice, Religious & Theological Studies

Research Summary

My current research examines death and burial ideologies and mourning rituals. My recent volume, The Unremembered Dead, uses tools from traditional literary criticism, rhetorical analysis, and sociological research to discuss the record of post-mortem abuse in the Hebrew Bible. I investigate how images of non-burial have repercussions on communal identity, and covenant formation—and destruction. Through my research on post-mortem abuse, I seek to further the ever-pressing discourse concerning violence in the biblical heritage.

My current project also attends to the theme of death and burial, but from a different perspective. “Still Waters” provides a comprehensive and compassionate discussion of late pregnancy loss and stillbirth. Drawing from Roman Catholic teachings on pregnancy loss, recently updated pastoral guides on mourning and funeral rituals, and sage advice from nursing professionals, this volume equips families, clergy, and faith communities with pastoral and liturgical resources following the loss of a baby.

  • Ph.D, Hebrew Bible, Boston University
  • M.T.S., Biblical Studies, Boston University School of Theology
  • B.A., Theology, Boston College
Areas of Expertise
  • Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • Ancient Near Eastern Religions
  • Death & Burial Ideology
  • Religious Diversity in Ancient Israel
  • Mourning Rites
  • Religious Praxis
Recent Publications

The Unremembered Dead: The Non-Burial Motif in the Hebrew Bible. Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures and its Contexts 26 (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2018).

“Possession and Exorcism in the Ancient Near East,” and “The Bentresh Stela” in Spirit Possession around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures. Edited by Joseph Laycock (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2015).

Honors and Awards
  • Edwin S. and Ruth M. White Prize,  BU Center for the Humanities, 2012
  • Angela J. and James J. Rallis Memorial Award,  BU Center for the Humanities, 2012