Minor - Theological Ethics
Zac Karanovich is a doctoral candidate in systematic theology. A proud Hoosier from rural, west central Indiana, he studied and worked in Indianapolis for 13 years. In 2007, Zac received his BA in theology and philosophy from Marian College (now University) and worked in parish ministry and religious education. After receiving his law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2014, he practiced in public and nonprofit finance before moving to Boston to continue theological studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he received his MTS in 2018. His research interests are in political and liberation theologies; race and bias; narrative, grace, and conversion; spirituality and ecclesiology; and how insights from these areas might aid in the understanding and transformation of rural, working-class, white America (his own context) and the Church.
Zac’s dissertation, entitled “Conversion in a World of Violence: Toward a Theology of Conversion with Johann Baptist Metz, James Alison, and Thomas Merton,” engages the three title interlocutors’ contributions to the development of a holistic understanding of conversion that includes justice, forgiveness, and divinization. In light of their own lives and theological thought, he draws from them spiritual and ecclesial practices that can open a person or community to conversion. Of particular interest in the dissertation is the role narrative and narrative change in conversion. The project concludes with a case study, applying the principles established in earlier chapters to the issue of racial resentment in our particularly polarized society.
His prior experience in education and parish ministry has afforded him the opportunity to teach in various venues (churches, classrooms, and small groups), to diverse audiences (young children, high school students, college students, and adults), and on a variety of theological topics. He is passionate about ensuring that theology is something to be done by all the faithful—professional theologians or otherwise—and that, because of the diversity of positionality, those theologizing have much to learn from one another.
In addition to his doctoral work, Zac has worked at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at BC since 2019. This has kept him at the center of important conversations at the intersection of religion and public life—both broadly defined—and has put him in regular contact with some of the central figures and thinkers in those conversations.
Offering balance to Zac’s life are quality time with his spouse and two daughters, “family dinners” with peers from the department, practicing leisure reading (those muscles have weakened during his time in the program), and exploring Boston and the surrounding area.