College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought & Culture

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

The Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture recognizes a scholar whose research and teaching involves placing the Catholic intellectual tradition in dialogue with other academic disciplines. The Koch Chair assists the campus community to deepen their understanding of the rich Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition. 


2019 Koch Lecture - Monday, November 4, 2019
7:30 PM, Gorecki 204,  College of Saint Benedict

Dr. David Hollenbach will deliver the annual College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture Lecture, "The Global Common Good in a World of Rising Nationalism." Dr. David Hollenbach, Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Research Professor of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will explore the ethical and political challenges between rising nationalism and the massive refugee movements taking place today. 

The confrontation between rising nationalism and massive refugee movements raises urgent ethical and political challenges today.   Hollenbach will argue that though national borders have moral weight, the rights of displaced persons create responsibilities that can lead to more stringent obligations.  These include the duty prevent conflicts that drive millions from their homes and to take positive action to assist displaced people who are in great need through asylum and resettlement.  Commitment to the global common good also calls developed nations in the north to assist developing countries who host the vast majority of the world’s displaced people. 


Jennifer Beste, College of St. Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture, Professor of Theology

Phone: (320) 363-5934 Email: [email protected]

Jennifer Beste received her Masters of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Religious Ethics from Yale University in 2003. Before accepting the position as Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture at the College of Saint Benedict, Jennifer taught at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2003-2012. Her book God and the Victim, published by Oxford University Press in 2007, examines the challenges that trauma theory poses to Christian conceptions of the self, human freedom, and God's grace.

Jennifer’s most recent book, College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics: The Lives and Longings of Emerging Adults (Oxford University Press), builds on the reflections of 126 undergraduate students who set out as sober ethnographers to observe and analyze peers at college parties. Corroborated by a growing body of research, these accounts present a serious challenge to the neutral or even benevolent view of hookup culture embraced by some sociologists, “sex-positive” feminists, and popular culture in general. Beste argues, with insights from theologian Johann Metz and additional qualitative research involving 150 students at a different university, that college campuses are presently home to a vast cultural crisis in authenticity, vulnerability, and relationality. Taking seriously the counter-cultural, Christian narrative of what it means to become fully human in Metz’s Poverty of Spirit, Beste and her students dialogue with scholars including Margaret Farley to consider alternative paths to joy, justice, freedom, and happiness. This book’s exploration of social norms on college campuses culminates in a call to action. Especially in light of the prevalence of sexual violence and varieties of traumatization occurring on campuses today, Beste’s vision for creating more socially and sexually just communities could not be more timely and relevant.

For more information about College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics/ 

Research Interests

Dr. Beste’s research interests include trauma theory and Christian theology; ethnography and Christian ethics; sexual ethics; feminist ethics; and children, justice, and Catholicism.

Teaching

Christian Sexual Ethics
Moral Theology

Curriculum Vitae