Karen Chaney
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Ethics
(269) 749-6626

Karen Chaney, Ph.D., assistant professor of Religious Studies and Ethics, is excited to join the Olivet faculty in 2008.  In addition to teaching in religious studies and ethics, she also teaches courses in western philosophy.  Prior to coming to Olivet, she has taught in the areas of biomedical ethics, Christian history, theology and ethics, and the ethics of social and political reconciliation.

Professor Chaney also served as a fellow at the Center for Ethics and Social Policy at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.  She has an ongoing interest in the evolution of liberalism within contemporary society in both its religious and political expressions.  Her doctoral work examined concepts of global justice expressed in debates at the World Trade Organization.  Additional research interests include economic ethics for a global economy, the social production of knowledge and value, and revisioning the concept of grace for contemporary social life.

Professional presentations include “Contesting the Bounded Nature of Distributive Justice:  Critical Issues in Justice Considerations for a Global Context,” delivered at the American Academy of Religion Western Region Annual Meeting in 2007, and “The Spectacle of Disappearance in the Argentine Dirty War as a Technique of Political Repression,” presented at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Annual Meeting in 2001.  Two publications include “When Narrative Becomes National:  The Contemporary Crisis of Liberalism,” and “Liberatory Readings:  The Use of Scripture in the Work of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Gustavo Gutiérrez.”

Chaney earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison College and the Honors College at Michigan State University with a focus in political philosophy, a master of divinity degree from Harvard University with an emphasis in women’s studies in religion, and a doctorate in ethics and social theory from the Graduate Theological Union.  She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Philosophical Association, and the Society of Christian Ethics.