Please update your web browser or disable Compatibility View.
College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought & Culture

Current Koch Chair

Serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

jb picJennifer Beste
College of St. Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture
Associate Professor of Theology

Phone: (320) 363-5934



Ph.D., Ethics, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University, 2003
M.Div., Summa Cum Laude, Vanderbilt University School of Divinity, 1997
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Christ College Honors Scholar, Valparaiso University, 1993


Jennifer Beste taught previously at Xavier University in Cincinnati after receiving her Ph.D. in Religious Ethics at Yale University in 2003. Her book God and the Victim, published by Oxford University Press, examines the challenges that trauma theory poses to Christian conceptions of the self, human freedom, and God's grace. She is currently engaged in two book projects. First, drawing on college students' own ethnographic observations and analyses of college parties, Beste is writing on contemporary hookup culture and Christian sexual ethics. Her second new book, based on a two-year ethnographic project observing and interviewing Catholic second graders as they prepared for and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will examine how a child-centered ethical methodology challenges Catholic moral theology to re-examine dominant assumptions about children and what it means to treat them justly. Beste is currently a board member for both Society of Christian Ethics and the Society for Children's Spirituality.


Her research interests include trauma theory, sexual and gender ethics, fieldwork and Christian ethics, feminist ethics, childhood studies, ethnographic and qualitative research on children, and hope and truth-telling in medical ethics.


Justice in Sexuality and Relationships
Moral Theology

Curriculum Vitae