Miguel A. De La Torre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Miguel A. De La Torre
De La Torre in 2009
Born (1958-10-06) 6 October 1958 (age 65)[citation needed]
NationalityNaturalized U.S. citizen
Alma materTemple University
Known forWork analyzing social ethics and hispanic religiosity
Awards"Outstanding Hispanic Educator" award by the Michigan Hispanic Legislative Caucus
"2016 Outstanding Faculty Award" by University of Denver/Iliff Joint Doctoral Program
Scientific career
FieldsSocial ethics, theology of liberation, Latinx religiosity, Santería
InstitutionsIliff School of Theology

Miguel A. De La Torre (born 6 October 1958) is a professor of Social Ethics and Latino Studies at Iliff School of Theology, author, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister.[1]


Born in Cuba months before the Castro Revolution, De La Torre and his family migrated to the United States as refugees when he was an infant. For a while the U.S. government considered him and his family as "illegal aliens". On 6 June 1960, De La Torre received an order from Immigration and Naturalization Service to "self-deport." He attended Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic elementary school in Queens, New York, and was baptized and confirmed by the Catholic Church. Simultaneously, his parents were priest/priestess of the religion Santería.[2] He refers to himself as a "Southern Baptist, Roman Catholic child of Ellegúa."[3]

In his early twenties he became a "born-again" Christian, joining University Baptist Church in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1992, De La Torre dissolved the thirteen-year-old real estate company to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in order to obtain a Master of Divinity and enter the ministry. During his seminary training he served as pastor at a rural congregation, Goshen Baptist Church in Glen Dean, Kentucky. While doing pastoral work in rural Kentucky, De La Torre had experiences that caused him to begin exploring the church's power structures and what the dominant European American culture could learn from the Latino margins.[4]


De La Torre continued his theological training and obtained a doctorate from Temple University in social ethics in 1999. According to the books he published, he focuses on ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. His works 1) applies a social scientific approach to Latino/a religiosity within this country;[5] 2) studies Liberation theologies in the Caribbean and Latin America (specifically in Cuba);[6] and 3) engages in postmodern/postcolonial social theory.

In 1999 he was hired to teach Christian Ethics at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. In 2005 he wrote a column for the local newspaper, The Holland Sentinel, titled "When the Bible is Used for Hatred."[7] The article was a satirical piece commenting on Focus on the Family's James Dobson outing of SpongeBob SquarePants. Dobson responded to the article.[8]

A controversy over these articles ensued.[9] A few months afterwards, De La Torre was forced to resign his tenure and took the position of associate professor for social ethics at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.[10]

Since obtaining his doctorate in 1999, De La Torre has authored numerous articles and books, including several books that have won national awards, specifically: Reading the Bible from the Margins, (Orbis, 2002);[11] Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004); Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, (Orbis, 2004); and Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture, Volume 1 & 2, (ABC-CLIO, 2009).[12] Within the academy he has served as a director to the Society of Christian Ethics[13] and the American Academy of Religion.[14]

He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion.[15]

De La Torre has been an expert commentator concerning ethical issues (mainly Hispanic religiosity, LGBT civil rights,[16] and immigration rights) on several local, national, and international media outlets.

In 2021, De La Torre won the Excellence in Teaching Award given by the American Academy of Religion.[17]

Also in 2021, De La Torre won the Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award, also given by the American Academy of Religion.[18]


  • Ajiaco Christianity: Toward an Exilic Cuban Ethic of Reconciliation (Ph.D. diss.), 1999.
  • Reading the Bible from the Margins, 2002.
  • The Quest for the Cuban Christ: A Historical Search, 2002.
  • La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami, 2003.
  • Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America, 2004.
  • Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, 2004.
  • Leer la Biblia desde los Marginados, 2005.
  • A Lily Among the Thorns: Imagining a New Christian Sexuality, 2007.
  • Liberating Jonah: Toward a Biblical Ethics of Reconciliation, 2007.
  • Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration, 2009.
  • Latina/o Social Ethics: Moving Beyond Eurocentric Thinking, 2010.
  • A La Familia: A Conversation about Our Families, the Bible Sexual Orientation and Gender, 2011.
  • Genesis: A Theological Commentary on the Bible, 2011.
  • Liberation Theologies for Arm Chair Theologians, 2013.
  • Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, 2nd Edition, 2014.
  • The Politics of Jesús: Toward a Hispanic Political Theology, 2015.
  • Liberating Sex, 2016.
  • The Immigration Crises: Toward an Ethics of Place, 2016.
  • Embracing Hopelessness, 2017.
  • Burying White Privilege: Resurrecting A Badass Christianity, 2018.
  • José Martí's Liberative Political Theology, 2021.
  • Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers, 2021.
Co-authored books
  • Introducing Latino/a Theologies, with Edwin David Aponte, 2001.
  • The Quest for the Historical Satan, with Albert Hernandez, 2011.
  • Introducing Latinx Theologies, with Edwin David Aponte, 2020.
Edited books
  • Handbook on U.S. Theologies of Liberation, 2004.
  • Handbook on Latino/a Theologies, co-edited with Edwin David Aponte, 2006.
  • Rethinking Latino/a Religion and Ethnicity, co-edited with Gaston Espinosa, 2006.
  • AAR Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession, 2007.
  • The Hope of Liberation within World Religions, 2008.
  • Out of the Shadows, Into the Light: Christianity and Homosexuality, 2009.
  • Beyond the Pale: Reading Christian Ethics from the Margins, co-edited with Stacey Floyd-Thomas, 2011.
  • Beyond the Pale: Reading Christian Theology from the Margins, co-edited with Stacey Floyd-Thomas, 2011.
  • Ethics: A Liberative Approach, 2013.
  • Introducing Liberative Theologies, 2015.
  • Faith and Resistance in an Age of Trump, 2017.
  • Resisting Occupation: A Global Struggle for Liberation, co-edited with Mitri Raheb, 2020.
  • The Colonial Compromise: The Threat of the Gospel to the Indigenous Worldview, 2020.
  • Water and the Problem of Environmental Racism, 2021.
Encyclopedia editor
  • Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture, Volume 1 & 2, 2009.


  1. ^ "Miguel A. De La Torre— Faculty page". Iliff School of Theology. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Interview with Miguel A. De La Torre, author of Santería". ww.bibleintro.com. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. November 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  3. ^ De La Torre, Miguel (2 November 2015). "I'm a Southern Baptist, Roman Catholic Child of Elegguá – Deal with It". Cuba Counterpoints. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. ^ De La Torre, Miguel A. (2009). "Pastoral Care from the Latina/o Margins". In Kujawa-Holbrook, Sheryl A.; Montagno, Karen Brown (eds.). Injustice and the Care of Souls: Taking Oppression Seriously in Pastoral Care. Fortress Press. pp. 59–72. ISBN 978-0800662356. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  5. ^ "A guide to Hispanics and religion in the U.S." ReligionLink. 4 December 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2017. Updated on 19 June 2014.
  6. ^ Ted Henken (2008). Cuba: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 535. ISBN 978-1-85109-984-9.
  7. ^ De La Torre, Miguel (2 February 2005). "When the Bible Is Used For Hate". EthicsDaily.com. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  8. ^ Dobson, James (11 February 2005). "Political Bias Distorted Facts". Holland Sentinel. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Controversy on Campus". Holland Sentinel. 2 January 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  10. ^ Jaschik, Scott (28 April 2005). "Did SpongeBob Article Cost Professor a Job?". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Book Receives First-Place Award from Catholic Press Association". Hope College Office of Public Relations. 18 June 2003. Archived from the original on 10 September 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b "CURRICULUM VITAE". drmigueldelatorre. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Officers of The Society of Christian Ethics". Society of Christian Ethics. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Board of Directors". Aarweb.org. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion". www.raceandreligion.com. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  16. ^ Gutterman, Dawn Wolfe (23 June 2005). "Miguel De La Torre: The new face of gay-allied activism". Between The Lines News. No. 1325. Pridesource. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Miguel De La Torre Wins Excellence in Teaching Award". www.aarweb.org. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  18. ^ "Miguel De La Torre Wins Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award". www.aarweb.org. Archived from the original on 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2021-01-21.

External links[edit]