Justo L. González

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Justo L. González
Justo Luis González

(1937-08-09) August 9, 1937 (age 85)
  • Cuban
  • American
SpouseCatherine Gunsalus González
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Methodist)
ChurchUnited Methodist Church
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisThe Christology of Saint Bonaventure (1961)
Academic work
Sub-disciplineHistorical theology
School or tradition
Notable works
  • A History of Christian Thought (1970–1975)
  • The Story of Christianity (1984–1985)

Justo Luis González (born August 9, 1937) is a Cuban-American historical theologian and Methodist elder. He is a prolific author and an influential contributor to the development of Latin American theology. His wife, Catherine Gunsalus González, is a professor emerita at Columbia Theological Seminary, and the two have co-authored several books.

Early life and education[edit]

González was born in Havana, Cuba, on August 9, 1937.[2] He received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the Instituto de Marianao in 1954.[2] Following three years of studies at the University of Havana, he attended the Evangelical Seminary of Theology [es] in Matanzas, Cuba, from which he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1957.[2] He then studied at Yale University, receiving a Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1958, a Master of Arts degree in 1960, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1961.[2] He was the youngest person to be awarded the historical theology doctorate at Yale.


González taught at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico for eight years, followed by another eight years at Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Georgia. Now retired, he also served as adjunct professor of history at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, and at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a retired member of the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church.

He is a leading voice in the growing field of Hispanic theology,[3][4][5][6] comparable to such figures as Virgilio Elizondo, Orlando Costas,[7] and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz. González is one of the few first generation Latino theologians to come from a Protestant background[8] With the Mexican-American United Methodist minister Roy Barton, González helped found the first academic journal related to Latino theology, Apuntes, published by the Mexican-American program of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.[9] He also helped to found the Association for Hispanic Theological Education,[10] for which he has twice served as Executive Council Chair.[11] He was the first Director of the Hispanic Summer Program[12] and helped found the Hispanic Theological Initiative.[13][14]

A festschrift has been published for him: Hispanic Christian Thought at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Apuntes in Honor of Justo L. González, edited by Alvin Padilla, Roberto Goizueta, Eldin Villafañe (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005) with contributions from Roman Catholic and Protestant Latino theologians, historians, and biblical scholars.

Justo González is the main narrator for the video lessons of the Christian Believer study course from Cokesbury publishing.

Gonzalez is also the recipient of the Ecumenism Award from Washington Theological Consortium. This was awarded to him because of his ecumenical work that aims to unify churches with a variety of denominational backgrounds.[15]


In 1984–5 González wrote a popular two volume textbook entitled The Story of Christianity that covers the history of the church from founding till the present in a readable style. Many students and scholars have read and enjoyed The Story of Christianity as reflect in this review; "A well-informed book on Christianity, the Reformation to present day. A good resource for theologians or even if you just have an interest."[16]

He is also the author of a three volume work titled History of Christian Thought. Both works commonly are used as college and seminary textbooks.

Additional books include:

  • González, Justo L, Acts: The Gospel of the Spirit (2001).
  • ———, ¡Alabadle!: Hispanic Christian Worship (1996).
  • ———, The Apostle's Creed for Today (2007).
  • ———, The Changing Shape of Church History (2002).
  • ———, Christian Thought Revisited: Three Types of Theology (1999).
  • ———, A Concise History of Christian Doctrine (2006).
  • ———, Essential Theological Terms (2005).
  • ———, Faith and Wealth: A History of Early Christian Ideas on the Origin, Significance, and Use of Money (2002).
  • ———, For the Healing of the Nations: The Book of Revelation in an Age of Cultural Conflict (1999).
  • ———, Para la Salud de las Naciones : El Apocalipsis en tiempos de conflicto entre culturas (2006) [For the Healing of the Nations: The Book of Revelation in an Age of Cultural Conflict] (in Spanish).
  • ———, Heretics for Armchair Theologians (2008).
  • ———, The History of Theological Education (2015).
  • ———, The Liberating Pulpit (2003).
  • ———, Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective (1990).
  • ———, Out of Every Tribe & Nation: Christian Theology at the Ethnic Roundtable (1992).
  • ———, Santa Biblia: The Bible through Hispanic Eyes (1996).
  • ———, The Story Luke Tells: Luke's Unique Witness to the Gospel (2015).
  • ———, Three Months with Revelation (2004).
  • ———, The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures (2016), InterVarsity Academic. (Spanish edition originally published by Abingdon Press, 2013.)
  • ———, Tres meses en la escuela de Patmos: Estudios sobre el Apocalipsis (1997) [Three Months in the School of Patmos: Studies in Revelation] (in Spanish).
  • ———, Introducción a la historia de la iglesia (2011) [Introduction to the History of the Church] (in Spanish).
  • ———, A Brief History of Sunday (2017).
  • ———, Knowing our Faith (2019).
  • ———, The Bible in the Early Church (2022).
  • ——— (1984), The Story of Christianity (paperback), vol. One: The Early Church to the Reformation, Harper Perennial, ISBN 0-06-063315-8.
  • ——— (1985), The Story of Christianity (paperback), vol. Two: The Reformation to the Present Day, Harper Perennial, ISBN 0-06-063316-6.
  • ——— (1999), The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Day (2nd complete in one volume ed.), Peabody, MA: Prince Press, ISBN 1-56563-522-1.


  1. ^ Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti (2003). Christology: A Global Introduction. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8010-2621-8.
  2. ^ a b c d González, Justo L. (2017). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Princeton, New Jersey: Hispanic Theological Initiative. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  3. ^ Bañuelas, Arturo J. (2004), "US Hispanic Theology: An Initial Assessment", in Bañuelas (ed.), Mestizo Christianity: Theology from the Latino Perspective, Maryknoll: Orbis, pp. 53–82, ISBN 9781592449842.
  4. ^ Aponte, Edwin David; De La Torre, Miguel A, eds. (2006), Handbook of Latina/o Theologies, St Louis: Chalice.
  5. ^ Fernandez, Eduardo C. (2000), La Cosecha: Harvesting Contemporary United States Hispanic Theology, 1972–1998, Liturgical.
  6. ^ De La Torre, Miguel A; Aponte, Edwin David (2001), Introducing Latino/a Theologies, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.
  7. ^ Rossing, John P (1988), "Mestizaje and Marginality: A Hispanic American Theology", Theology Today, PTSEM, 45 (3): 293–304, doi:10.1177/004057368804500304, S2CID 147133118, archived from the original on June 28, 2007.
  8. ^ "Hispanic theologians", Religion link (list), archived from the original on 2009-04-23, retrieved 2007-05-15.
  9. ^ Cortez, Marc (April 3, 2004), Mañana Theology: The Challenge of US Hispanic Theology for Theological Education in the 21st Century (DOC) (paper), Portland, OR: The Evangelical Theological Society.
  10. ^ About, AETH[permanent dead link].
  11. ^ Ex‐directors, AETH[permanent dead link].
  12. ^ "History", HSP, Drew.
  13. ^ About, HTI program.
  14. ^ News (press release), Baylor, 2 March 2007.
  15. ^ Prayer for Christian Unity and Figel Address, Washington Theological Consortium, 21 November 2013.
  16. ^ González, Justo L. (2014-11-25). The Story of Christianity: Volume 2: The Reformation to the Present Day (2nd ed.). HarperOne.