Orlando Espín, Th.D., Professor of Systematic Theology in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego delivered the fifth annual John E. Boswell Lecture on Tuesday evening, April 24, 2012, titled, ““Who is Human? – The Subversive Question at the Heart of Christianity.”


Christians claim that God definitively revealed Godself in and as a human life. Christians also claim that the most crucial moral imperative is to love one’s fellow human beings because they are human. Therefore, to ask, “who is human?” is an inescapably subversive question at the heart of Christianity. This question addresses the scandalous Christian claim regarding God, and it establishes the dignity of humanness as the foundation of all ethics and the rights of humans as the non-negotiable moral “line in the sand.”

Speaker Biography:

Orlando Espín is professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. He has specialized in the theological study of popular religion, as well as in the theologies of culture and traditioning. He is regarded as one of the founders of U.S. Latino/a theology. In addition to publishing many articles, Dr. Espin is the author or editor of nine books. He has received several national and international awards for his theological work. He has twice been elected president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS), was the first Latino/a elected to the board of directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and founded the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology. Espín serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, of the International Journal of Queer Studies, and other publications. He is co-convener of the Latino/a Roundtable of PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. He is also active in local and national organizations that advocate for Latino/a and immigrant rights and equality.