Ki Joo (KC) Choi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Chair
Department of Religion

I am an ethicist, specializing in Catholic and Protestant moral theology, political theory/ethics, and the political morality of race and ethnicity. My teaching areas also include the ethics of war and peace and the relationship between science (evolutionary theory) and theological ethics.

My primary research in ethics focuses on the nature of moral deliberation: What are the mechanics of moral reasoning? How do we make moral judgments? I have pursued these questions by exploring how virtue ethics, aesthetics (art theory), and concepts of race can advance or hinder moral deliberation and discourse, especially within the context of participatory, democratic politics.

At present, my major research projects include an assessment of how various conceptions of Asian American identity inform our understanding of race and racism in U.S. society and what the implications of that understanding are for moral, political, and theological discourse. I am also researching the role of the emotions in moral discernment from the perspectives of Thomas Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards, and the evolutionary science of the moral sense. In mapping the convergences and divergences between theological and non-theological concepts of the emotions, my aim is to better understand how emotions inform moral judgment and what the extent of their role should be in moral deliberation.

In addition to major academic journals and edited volumes, my research and teaching have appeared and/or been featured in a number of blogs and news sites such as the Wabash Center's Race Matters in the Classroom, CivicStory/NJ Arts News, and The Los Angeles Times.

At Seton Hall, I currently coordinate the Core 2101 program of the University Core. Core 2101 is a required sophomore-level course that examines the social relevance of faith and reason within the Catholic intellectual tradition. I am also the co-editor of Christianity and Culture (Kendall Hunt, 2010, 2013), the textbook adopted for the Core 2101 program. In Seton Hall's Department of Religion, I have served as the acting chair (2014-2015) and as the faculty adviser to Seton Hall's chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology. I have also served as the executive secretary and treasurer of the University Faculty Senate (2011-2012). With my colleague Monsignor Richard Liddy of the Center for Catholic Studies at Seton Hall, I host the Ethics and Economic Forum, a faculty venue for interdisciplinary discussions on economics, theology, ethics, and social justice.

I have been invited to participate on a number of academic and professional boards, including the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Alumni Advisory Board of Yale University Divinity School (I was elected as Vice-Chair for 2011-2012) and the Advisory Board of The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. I am the past convener of the Asian and Asian American Ethics Working Group of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Religion and Society Section of the College Theology Society.