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Center for the Study of Latino/a Catholicism


Orlando Espín, Th.D. Director
Alberto Pulido, Ph.D., Associate Director
Leeanna Cummings, Center's Webmaster

(N.B.- The following information does not include complete listings of past academic positions, the full list of publications, services to the profession, or honors and awards. For complete curricula vitarum, please address the individuals concerned directly.)

Prof. Dr. Orlando O. Espín (

Center's Director, and USD Professor of Systematic Theology.
Th.D., Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 1984.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Honorary Professorship in the Humanities. Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela), 1999.
  • Recipient of the 1993 "Virgil Elizondo Award." Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S.
  • First "Justo L. González" Professor of Theology (2001). Hispanic Summer Program.
  • USD Steber Professor of Religious Studies (2005-2006).
  • Honorary Doctorate in Theology. Catholic Theological Union (Chicago), 2007.

Service to the Profession

  • Founding member and past president, Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S.
  • Board of Directors (past), Catholic Theological Society of America.
  • Founder and first Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology .
  • Member of National Selection Committee (past), Hispanic Theological Initiative.
  • Member of the Governing Board and past Vice-Chair, Hispanic Summer Program.
  • Member of the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession (past), American Academy of Religion.
  • Past President, Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.

Among Espín's Publications

  • Cristianos del siglo XX (Caracas: Ediciones Paulinas, 1980).
  • Carisma y misión (Madrid: Ediciones Apostolado, 1983).
  • The Faith of the People: Theological Reflections on Popular Catholicism (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997).
  • From the Heart of Our People: Latino Explorations on Catholic Systematic Theology , ed. with M. Díaz (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999).
  • Futuring Our Past: Explorations in the Theology of Tradition , ed. with G. Macy (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005).
  • Power and Memory: An Intercultural Theology of Traditioning (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, forthcoming).
  • Grace and Humanness: Theological Reflections on Popular Religion (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007).
  • An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies, ed. with J. Nickoloff (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2007).
  • Building Bridges, Doing Justice: Constructing a Latino/a Ecumenical Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2009).

Research interests

Latino/a and Latin American popular Catholicism and popular religion in general; intercultural theologies and philosophies, and cultural studies; theologies of Tradition and traditioning, and the development of doctrines; African religions in the Americas; immigration and globalization and their impact on religious experience.

Prof. Dr. Alberto López Pulido (

Center Associate Director, and USD Professor of Ethnic Studies and Sociology.
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame (1989)

Professional Honors and Awards

  • First Prize for Best Article on Religious History, San Diego Historical Society (1991). Awarded by Ecumenical Conference.
  • Semi-Finalist: Superior Teaching Award, College of Social and Behavioral Science, University of Utah (1992)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Center for Chicano Studies and Department of Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara (1995)
  • NEH Summer Institute Scholar, "Center and Periphery in New Spain: 16th and 17th Century Spanish and Indigenous Cultures in Mexico and Mexico City " (1998)
  • Charles C. Irby Distinguished Service Award. National Association for Ethnic Studies (1999)
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Fellow. Office of Minority Health, and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Faculty Development Program. Washington DC . (1999)
  • Dr. Manuel Servin Faculty Award. Chicano Faculty and Staff Association, Arizona State University . (2000)
  • Erasmus Institute Summer Faculty Seminar, “Religion, Race, and Social Justice.” St. John's University (2002)
  • Collegium: Summer Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life (2004)

Service to the Profession

  • Founding Member. Religion and American Culture: A Caucus of the American Studies Association.
  • Committee Member. Committee on American Studies Programs. American Studies Association.
  • Advisory Board Member. Hispanic Institute of Theology, Drew University Theological School.
  • Advisory Board. Human Pursuits: The Western Humanities Concern.
  • Executive Council Member. National Association for Ethnic Studies.
  • Board of Editors. Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños Journal.
  • Board of Editors. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology Journal.
  • Board of Editors. Ethnic Studies Review: Journal for the National Association for Ethnic Studies.

Among López Pulido's Publications

  • "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: The Mexican Catholic Experience in San Diego ," in: The Journal of San Diego History , 38:1 (Winter 1992). Awarded "First Prize for Best Article on Religious History."
  • "Mexican American Catholicism in the Southwest: The Transformation of a Popular Religion," in: Perspectives in Mexican American Studies: Emerging Themes in Mexican American Research , vol. 4 (1993).
  • "Presbiterianos mexicanos: Una perspectiva materialista de la religión y del trabajo en el Sur de Tejas," in: Cristianismo y Sociedad , nn. 118-19 (Winter 1994).
  • Latino Studies Journal . Special issue editor: "The Religious Experience in the Latino Community." Edited with David Abalos, vol. 5, n. 3 (September 1994).
  • "Relazioni etniche nella chiesa cattolica americana . L'experienza messicano-cattolica," in: Religioni e Società , X:21 (January-April,1995).
  • "Lyrics of the Penitentes: The Contributions of the Hermanos Penitentes to Roman Catholicism in New Mexico ," in: Seeds of Struggle - Harvest of Faith , Thomas J. Steele, ed. (Albuquerque: LPD Press, 1998).
  • "Sacred Expressions of the Popular: An Examination of Los Hermanos Penitentes of New Mexico and Los Hermanos Cheos of Puerto Rico ," in: Centro : Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies , XI:2 (Spring 2000).
  • The Sacred World of the Penitentes. ( Washington DC : Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000).
  • Pulido, Alberto López, "To Arrive is to Begin: Benjamin Sánez's Carry Me Like Water and the Pilgrimage of Origins in the Borderlands," in: Studies in Twentieth Century Literature 25:1 (Winter 2001:special issue on "The Literature and Popular Culture of the U.S.-Mexican Border").
  • “Chicano Religions through Chicano Literature: Reinscribing Chicano Religions as a Hermeneutics of Movement,” in: Religion and Literature , 35: 2 (Summer 2003).
  • “Engraving Emotions: Memory and Identity in the Quest for Emotive Scholarship,” in: Cross Currents , 54:2 (Summer 2004).
  • Chicano Religions: Understanding the Sacred in Chicana/o History. ( University of Arizona Press , forthcoming).
  • “The Lord Requires Justice: Lessons on Leadership from the African American Church for Mexican American Catholics”, with Santos Vega, in: Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States , Gastón Espinoza,Virgil Elizondo and Jesse Miranda, eds.. ( New York : Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Research Interests

The intersection of racial identity, religious expression and community formation in the history of the Americas . Latina and Latino Religions. Storytelling, identity, and the Sacred. Latina/o spirituality, art and performance. Lived religious expressions. Ethnic and Chicana/o studies. Borderland studies.

Ms. Leeanna Cummings (

Center's Webmaster.
B.A./B.Acc., University of San Diego.