Iona professor to speak on reimagining colonial Puerto Rico

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August 31, 2018

Teresa Delgado

Teresa Delgado

For many years, some have suggested making Puerto Rico the 51st state, or even granting its independence from the United States.

Now, Teresa Delgado will make the argument for “Reimagining Decolonial Futures: Puerto Rico, God-Talk and Seeking the Common Good” during the annual College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at room 200, Gorecki Center, CSB.

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Delgado will engage the literature of Puerto Rican creative writers Esmeralda Santiago, Pedro Juan Soto and Rosario Ferré to construct a theological vision centered on freedom and the pursuit of the common good.

Given the prophetic imagination utilized by Puerto Rican authors as a method of challenging colonizing discourses, Delgado will demonstrate how a similar methodology can be applied to construct a decolonial theology that draws from Roman Catholic foundations of the common good and Puerto Rican creative writers.

Such prophetic imagination will summon listeners toward a decolonized future for Puerto Rico.

Her lecture follows up on her latest book, “A Puerto Rican Decolonial Theology: Prophesy Freedom” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). She has also published on issues ranging from diversity in higher education, transformational pedagogies, constructive theology and ethics and justice for racial, ethnic and sexual minorities.

Delgado is the director of the Peace and Justice Studies program, and associate professor and chair of the Religious Studies Department at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She joined the faculty at Iona in 2005 after receiving her doctorate from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and teaches courses at the intersection of theology and ethics.

She also serves as president of the Board of Directors for the Westchester People’s Action Coalition Foundation, the leading force in Westchester County (New York) for peace and justice work for four decades. Addressing the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in theological education, Delgado serves as a mentor and on the board of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, as well as a member of the mentoring consortium of the Forum for Theological Exploration.

The Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture CSB was established in 2002 with a gift from former CSB Board of Trustees member Barbara "Babs" Gray Koch and her husband, David Koch of Wayzata, Minnesota.

The intention of the Koch Chair is to provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students at CSB and SJU, and the general public, to gain an enriched understanding of the heritage of Catholic thought that has shaped not only the faith tradition of CSB and SJU but also the pursuit of knowledge across disciplines.