2010, Washington DC

Welcome

Welcome to the official web site of the Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.  He has served as the elected 2012 President of the Society of Christian Ethics and served as the Executive Officer for the Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion (2012-17). Dr. De La Torre is a recognized international Fulbright scholar who has taught courses at the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development (Mexico), Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (Indonesia), University of Johannesburg (South Africa), and Johannes Gutenberg University (Germany) and lectured at Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana (Costa Rica). He has also taken students on immersion classes to Cuba and the Mexico/U.S. border to walk the migrant trails. De La Torre has received several national book awards and is a frequent speaker at national and international scholarly religious events and meetings. He also speaks at churches and nonprofit organizations on topics concerning the intersection of race, class,  gender, and sexuality with religion.

DE LA TORRE’S BLOG

INTRODUCTORY VIDEOS: Video 1; Video 2; Video 3

SLAM POETRY

VIDEO LECTURES

PODCASTS

SERMONS:

VIDEOS ON DE LA TORRE’S BOOKS

 

Books

Embracing Hopelessness

2017

Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump

2017

Liberating Sexuality: Justice Between the Sheets

2016

The U.S. Immigration Crises: Toward an Ethics of Place

2016

Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, 2nd Edition

2014

The Politics of Jesús: A Hispanic Political Theology

2015

Introducing Liberative Theologies

2015

Ethics: A Liberative Approach

2013

Liberation Theology for Armchair Theologians

2013

Genesis, Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible

2011

Beyond the Pale: Reading Christian Ethics from the Margins

2011

Beyond the Pale: Reading Christian Theology from the Margins

2011

A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

2011

The Quest for the Historical Satan

2011

Latina/o Social Ethics: Moving Beyond Eurocentric Moral Thinking

2010

Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture Volume 1 & 2

2009

Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration

2009

Out of the Shadows, Into the Light: Christianity and Homosexuality

2009

The Hope of Liberation within World Religions

2008

Liberating Jonah: Toward a Biblical Ethics of Reconciliation

2008

A Lily Among the Thorns: Imagining a New Christian Sexuality

2007

AAR Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession

2007

Rethinking Latino/a Religion and Ethnicity

2006

Handbook on Latino/a Theologies

2006

Leer la Biblia desde los marginados

2005

Handbook on U.S. Theologies of Liberation

2004

Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins

2004

Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America

2003

La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami

2003

The Quest for the Cuban Christ: A Historical Search

2002

Reading the Bible from the Margins

2002

Introducing Latino/a Theologies

2001

Articles

The Pedagogical Problem with White Professors

December 21, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

A few years ago, during a search for a New Testament professor, I asked two questions during the interview – two questions I ask of every candidate for a position with our institution regardless of rank or discipline. The first is innocent enough: “How important…

The Fallacy of Whiteness

December 15, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

White privilege is maintained when white ignorance is sustained. The demise of our democracy will not be at the hands of foreign entities. Democracy will fail at the hands of an ignorant and uninformed electorate seeking demagogues as saviors. Some whites choose to dance with…

The death of Christianity in the U.S.

November 13, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

Christianity has died in the hands of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence. The beauty of the gospel message — of…

The Cultural Power of a Bow Tie

September 11, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

Using my own body as a canvas, I began in 2011 to exclusively wear bow ties. I work in an institute of higher learning, the kind of place where you might think the Roger Kimball quip, “There is something about the combination of denim and…

Can White People Teach Latinx Studies?

August 17, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

Remember the composition of religion departments back during the 1960s? They predominately and unapologetically consisted of white males – especially the so-called Ivies. Now imagine if one of these schools, realizing the need for different perspectives, decided that they wanted to have a feminist viewpoint…

The Pedagogical Failure Of Eurocentric Methodologies

May 4, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

I am convinced that all eurocentric philosophical thought and movements – yes all – are oppressive to those who come from colonized spaces. When I contemplate every philosophical contribution made by the so-called Age of Enlightenment, it becomes obvious that the French Revolution’s battle cry for Liberté,…

What do you do when the God of liberation fails to liberate?

April 27, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

To hope is not some wishful desire but an expected joy that God will bring about God’s purposes. Jürgen Moltmann argued for a hope based in a God who keeps promises, a God who is a step ahead of humanity making all things new. Moltmann’s hope is…

Never belonging: Random reflections on my last visit to Cuba

March 28, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

Returning to the land which witnessed my birth is always a gut-wrenching experience. Separation from my island has now been five times longer than Odysseus’ was from his. But unlike Odysseus, who was returning to a place he was familiar with, I am attempting to piece together…

On becoming a Muslim to be a Faithful Follower of Jesus

February 2, 2017 by Miguel De La Torre

  1.3K348 As a committed liberationist-leaning Christian, I may have no choice but to say the Shahada and convert to Islam if I wish to be faithful to my beliefs. One of the bedrock principles of any liberative faith tradition is “solidarity with the oppressed.” I discover…

Fidel is Dead, But I Won’t Dance in the Streets

October 10, 2016 by Miguel De La Torre

They are dancing in the streets of Miami. The man who has impacted the trajectory of my entire life is no more. And yet, his power over my life — and all Cubans who find themselves in a land not their own — will continue…

The Whore of Babylon: Pimping the Body of Christ to the Highest Political Bidder

July 22, 2016 by Miguel De La Torre

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the…

We All are Omar Mateen

June 14, 2016 by Miguel De La Torre

A rush is on to call Omar Mateen, the “Other.” He must be the antithesis of Americans. He is evil, we are good. He is Muslim, we are saved. He is a foreigner, we belong. He is an external threat to our lifestyle, thus we…

A Colonized Christmas Story

December 11, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

In the colonized land of Judea, poor marginalized shepherds abided in the field, watching over flocks belonging to others.  When suddenly, a messenger of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of God shone forth.  They were filled with great fear.  But the messenger…

I’m a Southern Baptist, Roman Catholic – Child of Elegguá – Deal with It

October 31, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Latino/a religious scholars speak often of hybridity to describe the mestizaje, the mixture of our cultures, our identities, our different social locations, and yet, the hybridity of our spirituality remains taboo. Hispanic liberationists argue for orthopraxis trumping orthodoxy; however, whichever clique one runs with enforces acceptance or rejection of other…

Being Brown While Black Lives Matter

August 29, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Yes – black lives matter. But for centuries they haven’t. Killing black folk was considered sport, as documented by early twentieth century souvenir postcards of lynchings, where good Christians looked into the camera as that “strange fruit” swung from the trees behind them. The police,…

Plagiarizing the Poor

August 15, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

A few years ago, I shared a not-yet-completed manuscript with my class of doctoral students in an effort to receive feedback on some concepts I was developing surrounding the theme of indecent ethics. When I eventually presented those theories at a conference, I discovered that…

Can Cubans be Latin@s

June 13, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Fake news correspondent Al Madrigal, of The Daily Show, recently pondered if presidential candidates Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were really Latinos. While discussing immigration, Jon Stewart began the exchange by asking Al Madrigal if he was excited about the first two serious Hispanic candidates, Cruz…

Why Same Gender Marriages are as Biblical as Heterosexual Marriages

June 6, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Nonsensical quips like “it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” reveals the simplistic and mistaken application of Scripture to the understanding of marriage. Claiming that the biblical traditional marriage is only between one man and one woman signifies an unsophisticated comprehension of the Bible, its…

The Persistent Racism Of Theological Schools – Part II

May 23, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Your theological school might be racist if . . . . . . you hear white colleagues tell their white PhD students that they shouldn’t bother trying to apply for a tenure-track position because of the discrimination that exists against white men in the academy….

The Persistent Racism of Theological Schools

May 16, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Academic departments of religion lack faculty of color not because they have difficulty finding any; but simply, they lack the will to hire any. If you are considering attending a theological school that does not have core professors (as oppose to adjuncts) who are from…

Bible Pop Quiz

April 25, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

No one reads or interprets the Bible literally – regardless as to what they profess. To do so is simplistic, if not dangerous. All of us read our bias, our theology, and our social location into the text. There is no such thing as an objective reading;…

Why Does God Need a Penis?

March 28, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Close your eyes and imagine what God looks like. More than likely, you pictured in your mind a male body. Maybe the image is something similar to Michelangelo’s renowned mural The Creation of Adam (1512) in the Sistine Chapel, in which God is illustrated as an…

Toward a Theology of Hopelessness

March 14, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

One of the unexamined assumptions of the Christian faith is a theology that is based on esperanza, on hope. “All things works for the good of those who love God, and who has been called according to God’s purpose” (Ro. 8:28). To hope in English is to…

50 Shades toward Christian-Based Sadomasochism

February 21, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

Much ado has been made about the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, a disappointing screen adaptation of E. L. James’s poorly written bestseller. And yet, the film’s opening weekend box office take was $81.7 million! The allure of titillating forbidden desire sells. By now we are…

What is Due to Soldiers of Unjust Wars?

January 18, 2015 by Miguel De La Torre

I am standing near the terminal gate waiting to board my plane, which is running 20 minutes late. Although my boarding pass has me in Zone 2, I have traveled enough to know it will be a while before my zone is actually called, for different…

Trying to be Pro-Life

May 8, 2014 by Miguel De La Torre

Most of those who self-identify as “pro-life” or believe in the “sanctity of life” are neither.  To truly be pro-life is to believe that all life, created by God, has worth, dignity, and purpose; therefore, no human, under any circumstance, has the right to play…

The ethics of Dexter Morgan

February 20, 2014 by Miguel De La Torre

Dexter Morgan, the fictional character on the popular Showtime series, Dexter, is a forensic blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police homicide department. Those who watched the eight seasons (as I just binge watched) know that Dexter is a sociopath with supposedly no feelings or conscience….

The Screwtape E-mails

January 16, 2014 by Miguel De La Torre

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM, Screwtape screwtape@hotmail.com; wrote: Dearest Wormwood, It is with great pleasure that I hear of the success you are having with your Christian patient. Just because they say they follow the Enemy does not mean they are lost to…

Suffer Little Children

August 26, 2013 by Miguel De La Torre

Wouldn’t you do anything for your children? Your grandchildren? Is not their wellbeing important to you? To our culture? To our society? And yet, political policies advocated by some within the Christian community are damning to these precious souls. We have created a political social…

The Illogical Politics of Abortion

June 17, 2013 by Miguel De La Torre

A study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute reveals that issues related to reproductive health received unprecedented attention at the state level in 2011. Legislators in all 50 states introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 in 2010. By year’s end, 135…

Getting Marriage Wrong

March 15, 2013 by Miguel De La Torre

The Hebrew Bible’s interpretation of marriage was that women were akin to property, while men were biblically provided with the opportunity to have multiple sex partners. The New Testament interpretation privileged singleness, while women were human incubators who found their salvation through childbirth. The shapers…

‘Biblical’ Marriage Unmasked

February 12, 2013 by Miguel De La Torre

Many Christians today speak about the traditional biblical marriage, but if truth be known, “traditional” marriage is not a biblical concept. In fact, it would be hard to find a modern-day Christian who would actually abide by a truly biblical marriage in practice, as the…

A Prayer for Sandy Hook

December 18, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

Oh Lord, my God, how majestic is your name throughout the earth. Your love and mercy abound and endure forever. A young innocent sparrow does not fall without your knowledge. And yet, I again find myself asking where you were while the innocent were being…

Equal Time with Al Mohler

November 19, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was quoted widely concerning the re-election of President Barack Obama. If afforded equal time, here’s how I would respond to comments attributed to him Nov. 8 on NPR, the New York Timeson Nov. 9 and…

Will You Eat Less to Reduce Global Hunger?

August 28, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

Then, they will reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and fed you?” (Matthew 25:37) Seldom did I see an overweight person while living in Indonesia. In fact, at the food market I noticed a jamu (indigenous medicine) whose properties were supposed to help…

Could Those Who Make Your Shoes Afford Them?

July 9, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

They sell the just for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. – Amos 2:6 Recently, I went cycling through Javanese villages not far from my home in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I visited rural communities and spent the day at small cottage industries. During my…

Ignoring Ethical Questions About Military Drones

June 18, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

There are times when our technology advances faster than our ability to contemplate the ethical use or misuse of the latest gadget. When we fail to seriously consider the ethical ramifications of employing new hardware, especially when it is military hardware, we run the risk…

The Parable of the Vineyard from the Margins

June 7, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

One early morning, a certain vineyard owner sets out to hire laborers. He goes to the local bodega where laborers usually wait to be hired, negotiates a fair day’s wage and sends them to his fields. Several hours later, mid-morning, he comes across some individuals by the…

The Sin of Heterosexism

May 16, 2012 by Miguel De La Torre

I met Tommy (not his real name) back in the 1980s at our local church where I served as deacon and Sunday school teacher. We became close friends and talked about many things. Both of us being young and single, not surprisingly one day our…

Procedure Steamrollers Immigrants’ Human Rights

December 29, 2011 by Miguel De La Torre

Ever heard of Operation Streamline? The clanking of shackles, reminiscent of the old chain gangs of Jim Crow’s South, is the first thing one notices when entering the William D. Browning Special Proceeding Courtroom in Tucson’s U.S. District Court. On a recent Thursday afternoon, 64…

How Language Use Forces Minorities to the Margin

September 20, 2011 by Miguel De La Torre

Desi Arnaz played the role of Ricky Ricardo in the popular 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.” Hanging on his dressing room door was a sign that read, “English is broken here.” For those of us who are Hispanic, our “broken” English serves as a reminder…

The Real Class Warfare: Protecting the Super-Rich

September 2, 2011 by Miguel De La Torre

Class warfare is a term used by politicians and political pundits whenever the public (rich or poor) questions the disparity of wealth in this nation. To raise concerns about the ever-growing economic gap is to risk being accused of fomenting social unrest or, worse, of…

What I Learned as a Christian Reading the Quran

September 16, 2010 by Miguel De La Torre

The high levels of Islamophobia expressed in vandalizing mosques, the debate over building a center in New York and the canceled burning of Qurans in Florida have led many pundits to misquote and misrepresent what’s in the Quran. I have heard people say that the…

Moving beyond Hospitality

April 1, 2010 by Miguel De La Torre

[1] Anyone who calls him or herself a Christian should seek compassionate, just, and wise immigration reform. Millions of undocumented aliens are forced to live in the shadows of the law hungering for someone to bring them the good news that they are more than objects of a…

Lessons from Niebuhr Put Obama at Odds with Poor

January 6, 2010 by Miguel De La Torre

In April 2007, New York Times columnist David Brooks interviewed a presidential hopeful named Barack Obama. At one point, Brooks asked if Obama ever read the writings of Reinhold Niebuhr. “I love him. He’s one of my favorite philosophers,” was the reply. Brooks proceeded by asking what,…

Who’s the Real Enemy of Immigration Reform?

December 9, 2009 by Miguel De La Torre

From a cramped, dingy Birmingham cell, he wrote a letter to the liberal and moderate civic leaders of the community. It was a letter written to those who were supposed to be allies in the struggle for basic human rights, but instead were cautioning “patience”…

Being Thoroughly – and Really – Pro-Life

September 15, 2009 by Miguel De La Torre

Most of those who self-identify as “pro-life” or say they are believers in the “sanctity of life” are, in reality, neither. To truly be pro-life is to believe that all life, created by God, has worth, dignity and purpose; therefore, no human, under any circumstance,…

Truly Supporting our Troops

July 2, 2009 by Miguel De La Torre

Regardless of one’s feelings about the war in Iraq, it is important to provide support to the young men and women who put their lives on the line in obedience to their country’s call. One such man that deserves our support is Marine Staff Sergeant…

Was Jesus a Racist?

February 23, 2009 by Miguel De La Torre

Our faith tells us that anyone can come to Jesus. The evangelistic message is that Jesus will turn no one away. We can come just as we are, ill and diseased. All who seek healing will find salvation and liberation in the arms of Jesus,…

Roaches and Rats: A Nativity Reflection

December 17, 2008 by Miguel De La Torre

I must have been about three years old when this image was burned into my mind, and probably it will be the last thing I recall when I lay on my death bed as an old man. The ceiling was moving. As I focused on…