Scholar to discuss Latino theology

Scholar to discuss Latino theology

"Latino Theology and Its Critique of a Multicultural Church" is the title of a lecture at the University of St. Thomas next week by DePaul University Catholic studies professor Dr. Peter Casarella.

Casarella's lecture, free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university's campus in St. Paul.

Dr. Peter Casarella

Casarella , who also directs DePaul's Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, was recognized for his outstanding service to the Hispanic Theological Initiative in 2007 and is active in the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S. He has a Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University, where he also earned his master's and bachelor's degrees.

"It has often been assumed that the idea of a multicultural [Catholic] Church would be particularly inviting to Latinos and to Latino scholars … of religion and theology," Casarella commented. "A new generation of Latino scholars, however, is challenging older models of thinking about diversity … to promote a pastoral theology that recognizes the authentic witness of U.S. Latino Catholics as an intrinsic good in the church and addresses [their] daily needs more adequately." Casarella will examine these debates and discuss some of the assumptions that have guided these discussions.

Casarella's lecture is the inaugural Latino Leadership lecture sponsored by St. Thomas' Center for Catholic Studies. For more information, call Laura Stierman, (651) 962-5864.