Herencia Lectures

April 13, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


In the wake of the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, a little-known piece of U.S. legislation—The Jones Act— was suddenly much in the news. The Act (passed in 1920) limits trade to Puerto Rico, a U.S. island, to ships owned by citizens or corporations of the U.S. and manned by predominantly U.S. crews. With Puerto Ricans dying as a result of shortages of food, clean water, medicines and other essentials, many critics castigated the Act for the way that it isolates Puerto Rico (with deadly consequences, in the current instance), and for how it affirms the island’s second-class status within the U.S. polity. With invited scholars and practitioners we will examine critically the effects of this modern-day colonization and the manners by which we can RISE with PUERTO RICO!

In collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Relations, the Hispanic Theological Initiative, the Latin@ Collegium, and the Center for Continuing Education, the Herencia Lectures is a proactive platform in raising the consciousness pertaining to issues engaged by the Latin@ Community.

Download event flyer. (PDF)


Friday, April 13, 2018

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Mackay Main Lounge | Lunch and Presentation: Edwin Meléndez
Convener: Joanne Rodriguez, Director of the Hispanic Theological Initiative

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Mackay Main Lounge | Conversations with Dr. Luis Rivera-Pagán and Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera
Moderator: Dr. Mark Taylor, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Miller Chapel | Worship led by Rev. Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Princeton Theological Seminary Library Theron Room | Lecture by Dr. Teresa Delgado, with response from Dr. Luis Rivera-Pagán and Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera


This event will be streamed live. It will start at 6:55 p.m. on April 13 and run for 2.5 hours.

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Livestream Link


Teresa Delgado

Dr. Teresa Delgado, will be the evening lecturer. Dr. Delgado is Professor in the Religious Studies Department, as well as Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Iona College. Her recent publication, A Puerto Rican Decolonial Theology: Prophesy Freedom will be the focus of the evening conversation. This book explores the themes of identity, suffering, and hope in the stories of Puerto Rican people to surface the anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology of a Puerto Rican decolonial theology. It demonstrates how Puerto Rican literature and Puerto Rican theology are prophetic voices calling out for the liberation of a suffering people, on the island and in the Puerto Rican Diaspora, while employing personal Puerto Rican family/community stories as an authoritative contextual reference point. This work stands within the continuum of contextual theology and diasporic studies of religion in the United States, as well as research in the interdisciplinary field of decolonial and post-colonial studies.

Doris Garcia

Rev. Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera, with 27 years of educational experience in Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the USA, has a Doctorate in Theology (Th. D.) in Biblical and Historical Studies of the Hebrew Bible with a minor in Sociology from the University of Boston. She also holds an M.A.R. in Intercultural Ministries of Andover Newton and a M.Sc. in Microbiology and Medical Zoology from the School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico. In 1990, Doris became an ordained minister of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico and was commissioned as missionary with International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches. Since 2014, Dr. Garcia-Rivera has been serving as the first woman President of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. Dr. Garcia-Rivera will also be the preacher at the worship service in Miller Chapel on April 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Edwin Melendez

Dr. Edwin Meléndez is a Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College. He was appointed as the Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in 2008. An economist by training, he has conducted considerable research in the areas of Puerto Rican and Latino studies, economic development, labor markets, and poverty. In addition to numerous scientific papers and other publications, he is the author or editor of ten books. Professor Melendez has an extensive record of community and public service, including numerous appointments to government and community boards, and has worked as a consultant to numerous government, community, and philanthropic foundations. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, 2011, from the New York League of Puerto Rican Women, the 2010 Educational Leadership Honoree award from the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, New York, and El Diario El Awards 2009, New York. Dr. Melendez will participate in the lunch discussion displaying an extensive collection of materials on the historical diaspora of Puerto Rico.

Luis Rivera Pagan

Dr. Luis Rivera-Pagán, the Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, among them: A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas (1992), Entre el oro y la fe: El dilema de América (1995), Essays From the Diaspora (2002), Teología y cultura en América Latina (2009), Ensayos teológicos desde el Caribe (2013), and Essays from the Margins (2014). Dr. Pagán will serve as a panelist and responder for the evening Herencia Lecture.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Assistant Professor, Indiana Wesleyan University

Amanda Hontz Drury, Class of 2005

“Princeton Seminary helped me whittle down to the core of my faith and helped me discover what mattered most to me.”