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…

9/11: A Day That Lives in Infamy

September 11, 2008 by Miguel De La Torre

Not to sound trite, but 9/11 is indeed a day that will live in infamy. On this day a sovereign democracy was savagely attacked by a terrorist organization. Unsatisfied with the choice people made in electing their leaders and bitter about the economic path a…

Show Me a Sexist; I’ll Show You a Racist

July 11, 2008 by Miguel De La Torre

Ah! The good old days–when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America. Ah! The good old days–when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America. When…

What Do Obama, Clinton and McCain All Have in Common?

March 26, 2008 by Miguel De La Torre

What do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common? All three are ontologically white males. No one can become the leader of the world’s most powerful country (empire?) unless they are committed to what male whiteness symbolizes within the colonial process. Saying…

The Ethics of Waterboarding

March 5, 2008 by Miguel De La Torre

On Feb. 22, the Justice Department revealed that an internal ethics review conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the CIA’s use of waterboarding. This forced suffocation and inhalation of water, or as former CIA director Porter J. Goss prefers to call it,…

Conservatism Not a Choice

July 5, 2007 by Miguel De La Torre

A recent study released by the Baptist Journal of Behavioral Science concluded that conservatism is not a choice, but rather a genetic trait. Dr. Quack is quoted as saying: “For centuries, liberals have imposed their views upon science, insisting that being a conservative was a…

Columbus Day No Reason to Celebrate

October 9, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

Women were raped. Children were disemboweled. Men fell prey to the invaders’ swords. Within a generation, the lives and cultures of the indigenous people of the Americas were forever changed. Avarice for gold and glory took its course and decimated the population. The original inhabitants…

The Sin of Sodom

August 7, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

United States’ history has proven that most of its presidents, congressional leaders and Supreme Court justices have been guilty of the sin of Sodom. Many of the religious leaders today, specifically conservative evangelicals, are also guilty of Sodom’s sin. If truth be known, this writer…

Rhetoric Kills

June 30, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

Rhetoric kills–specifically the war rhetoric emerging from Washington D.C. to justify the invasion of a country which posed no strategic threat to the United States. As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, we can expect many politicians to throw around slogans like “fighting…

Speaking in Tongues

May 25, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

“Then Gilead cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever an Ephraimite fugitive said, ‘Let me cross,’ the men of Gilead asked him, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’ If he answered ‘No,’ they said, ‘Then say Shibboleth.’ He would say ‘Sibboleth,’ since Ephraimites…

Bananas

April 10, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

They come here to take away our jobs and use up our social services. They come in search of the American Dream hoping to find a better life for themselves and their families. These are the two most common answers given when asked why They…

The State of the Empire

January 2, 2006 by Miguel De La Torre

The president of the Northern Kingdom strutted toward the podium. Tonight he would address the empire, sharing his impression of the state of the union. Overall, the news was good. True, at the fringes of the empire the imperial army battled insurgents for control of…

A ‘Spanglish’ Christmas

December 21, 2005 by Miguel De La Torre

As all good theologians know, Heaven is a lot like a tropical island in the Caribbean, where cool gentle breezes refresh the land and the soul from the heat of the day. Hence Christmas is best celebrated in shorts and a tank top, preferably at…

‘Full-Quiver’ Theology Appeals to Race

December 14, 2005 by Miguel De La Torre

In a July 27 column in Baptist Press, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (my alma mater) insists that couples who choose childlessness are guilty of “rebellion against parenthood [that] represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design.” He bases his…

Illiterate Ethicist

March 30, 2005 by Miguel De La Torre

My mother was illiterate and never had a chance to go to school. She fled Cuba for the United States during the political turbulence of 1958 with her infant son. What my mother lacked in formal education she made up for in street smarts. She,…

When the Bible Is Used For Hate

February 2, 2005 by Miguel De La Torre

Are you ready, kids? Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. SpongeBob SquarePants! But wait, this silly frolicking sponge is really a sexual pervert teaching our innocent children to be pro-homosexual–at least according to James…

Is U.S. ‘Purveyor of Violence’?

August 28, 2003 by Miguel De La Torre

The United States has given the world the gift of noble concepts like democracy, and it has the potential to be a light to a hurting world. While appreciating what this country offers the rest of humanity, I refuse to worship this culture as though…

2013 – 2017

July 1, 2003 by Miguel De La Torre

2017  Oct 17, 2017   Time for Me to Say: #MeToo Sept 28, 2017 Anti-Semitism & Criticism of Israel are not the Same Aug 18, 2017  Keeping the White House White July 27, 2017  No, I am not an Angry Latino June 13, 2017  Interfaith Relations and…

2010-2012

June 1, 2003 by Miguel De La Torre

2012 Dec 31, 2012   Leap Off the Fiscal Cliff Dec 27, 2012   When Food Oppresses Dec 10, 2012   Binders of Hispanics Nov 9, 2012     Tea Party Cost GOP Nov 5, 2012     What Election Day Won’t Fix Nov 1, 2012     Why No Moral…

2007-2009

May 1, 2003 by Miguel De La Torre

2009 Dec 10, 2009   How to Determine When War is Just or Unjust Nov 23, 2009  Why Christ’s Euro-American Image Afflicts Hispanics Oct 12, 2009   No Samaritans Allowed: U.S. Prohibit Helping Migrants Oct 1, 2009     Who’s Really Hurt by America’s Travel Ban to Cuba? Sept…

2003 – 2006

March 1, 2003 by Miguel De La Torre

2006 Dec 28, 2006   God and Country Dec 13, 2006   The Chickens Come Home to Roost Nov 2, 2006     What I Learned from Tommy Oct 25, 2006   Their Terrorist and Ours Oct 2, 2006      Baptists and Alcohol: What Would Jesus Do? Sept 30,…