Meet Karen

Having grown up in the Church, I have lived and breathed the Bible for a long time, first in Sunday School and later as a biblical scholar.  I know first hand how this wonderful and strange text has a profound impact on identity and the way people move in the world.

My goal is to generate meaningful reflection on questions like: What is the Bible? How is it used in faith communities and the public sphere to generate positive or negative impact? In what ways are people’s thinking and behavior influenced by interpretations of it? What value does the Bible have for the average person in everyday life? How does it point us toward God?

Currently, I am completing my doctoral dissertation on Israelite ethics and violence in the Old Testament. I have taught students at Marquette University and Wake Technical Community College and served as preceptor at Duke Divinity School. I am also available to speak or teach at other institutions on topics related to Scripture, faith, and culture (see here for more information).

I am especially interested in making biblical scholarship accessible to a general audience. I enjoy teaching in an academic setting, but I also love dialoguing at the local coffee shop, facilitating Sunday School groups, or musing with those who are religiously disaffected over the meaning of life, God, and sacred texts.

When I am not teaching, I have the privilege of seeing how God is moving in the lives of people who come my way for spiritual care. I stumbled onto the practice of  spiritual direction by accident. Several years ago, I needed help knowing that God was still active in my life. Someone pointed me to a spiritual director and it was life-changing for me. Eventually, I completed a certificate program with the Faithful Companions of Jesus, a congregation of Catholic sisters in the Ignatian tradition. When I began doctoral studies at Marquette University, I served campus staff at the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality, where I also received additional mentoring. Now I work in private practice as The Redwood Center for Spiritual Care. Frequently, I see pastors or ministry leaders in training. I also enjoy leading spiritual formation groups at Duke Divinity School. Those interested in receiving spiritual direction can contact me through The Redwood Center for Spiritual Care. I see people in the Raleigh-Durham area, as well as through Skype.


Additional Trivia about Karen R. Keen:

  • Ph.D. Candidate in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at Marquette University (Old Testament specialization)
  • Th.M. in Biblical Studies (Duke University Divinity School), M.A. in Exegetical Theology (Western Seminary), M.S. in Education (counseling; Western Oregon University), B.S. in Psychology (Corban University; formerly Western Baptist College)
  • Author (see publications)
  • California girl transplanted to Durham, North Carolina
  • Tree lover and hugger, especially of redwoods

For the Super Curious: My CV