FWIW, the fact that you get the error at that point means that cDocumentTemplate can't be imported (it's using pDocumentTemplate, which nobody uses since it's a "fallback"). This is probably the root of the problem. I suspect pDocumentTemplate would give the same error on any platform. I would start investigating why cDocumentTemplate fails to import.
Doh! I bet it is because I have copied over the install from one of our other servers, and the C components will have been compiled with py2.3, and hence probably not imported successfully into py2.4.
Before I realised this I did a fresh install, using Zope 2.7.3b2 and py2.4a3 and after I got all the modules I needed recompiled for py2.4 (PIL, GD, 4Suite, etc.) I started Zope and is still crashed with a Bus Error. Which was what I was getting with py2.3 on FreeBSD/AMD64. So it looks like it just gets a little further with py2.4, but there are still problems. I'll try and get the recursion limit a bit lower and see if that helps it get through.
Are you sure that you have applied whatever patch is required to give Python a big enough stack on FreeBSD (Hmm, I foresee a new spam topic, "Enlarge your Python's Stack! Make your Zope beg for mercy!" ;)
Strange crashes reproducible only on *BSD should be checked first against this one:
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