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Department ofReligious Studies

Karen Peterson-Iyer

Karen Peterson-Iyer
Karen Peterson-Iyer

Assistant Professor

Karen Peterson-Iyer received her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, her M.Div. at the Graduate Theological Union, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Ethics (Religious Studies) at Yale University. Her research interests are currently focused on sexual ethics (contemporary sexuality), bioethics, and human trafficking. Karen has also worked in the past in campus ministry and on the writing and editorial staff of Sojourners magazine in Washington, D.C. She is married with two sons.


TESP 119: Theology, Sex, and Relationships
TESP 108: Human Trafficking and Christian Ethics
TESP 45: Christian Ethics
TESP 62: Medical Ethics in Christian Perspective
ELSJ 198: Applied Health Care Ethics Internship


 “Finding God in All Things.” Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Fall 2014.

Mobile Porn?' Teenage Sexting and Justice for Women. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Fall/Winter 2013

Designer Children: Reconciling Genetic Technology, Feminism, and Christian Faith (Pilgrim Press, 2004).

"Pharmacogenomics, Ethics, and Public Policy." Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, March 2008.

"Motherhood and Tenure: Can Catholic Universities Support Both?" Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, March 2005. With Bridget Burke Ravizza.

"Prostitution: A Feminist Ethical Analysis," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Fall 1998.

In The News

February 5, 2020

Karen Peterson-Iyer was quoted in a story that ran in The Mercury NewsEast Bay Times, and The Denver Post about the aftermath of an ethical lapse by a prominent Bay Area pastor. 

January 20, 2020

Karen Peterson-Iyer is among 91 ethicists who signed a statement that ran in Catholic Moral Theology, about the moral and ethical violations they see in U.S. military actions against Iran.