The 2020 Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) Book Prize Webinar

October 20 at 6:00 p.m.

Hti book cover

Join us online to hear Dr. Peter Mena discuss his award-winning book, Place and Identity in the Lives of Antony, Paul, and Mary of Egypt: Desert as Borderland, (Palgrave MacMillan) followed by a panel discussion. Utilizing the work of Chicana writer, thinker, and poet Gloria Anzaldúa to consider the descriptions of space and identity in Christian hagiographies, Mena argues that the ancient desert is constructed as a borderland for Christian ascetics and the negotiation of identities is intrinsically tied to the descriptions of desert space.

The Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) Book Prize was established in 2002 to acknowledge junior scholars who publish in their field. The award recognizes and rewards the best book written by a junior Latinx scholar on theology and/or religion each year. The prize includes a monetary award and a guest lectureship at the annual HTI Professional Development Conference. The 2020 conference was cancelled due to the pandemic, so we are offering this celebratory presentation online.

Presenter and Prize Winner

Peter Mena

Peter Anthony Mena is assistant professor of theology and religious studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego.  He is a historian of Christianity with expertise in Christian late antiquity and interests in the literature and cultures of the late-ancient Mediterranean as well as in contemporary literary and critical theories, and Latinx Theologies. Mena uses postcolonial, gender and queer theories, and cultural studies as an approach to study the past with the goals of considering current political, social, and cultural moments and theological movements. His monograph, Place and Identity in the Lives of Antony, Paul, and Mary of Egypt: Desert as Borderland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), uses the work of Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldúa to consider the descriptions of space and identity in ancient Christian hagiographies.


Luis Rivera pagan

Luis N. Rivera-Pagán is the Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his PhD from Yale University in 1970 and is the author of several books, including A la sombra del armagedón: reflexiones críticas sobre el desafío nuclear (1988), Senderos teológicos: el pensamiento evangélico puertorriqueño (1989), A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas (1992), Los sueños del ciervo: Perspectivas teológicas desde el Caribe (1995), Entre el oro y la fe: El dilema de América (1995), Mito exilio y demonios: literatura y teología en América Latina (1996), La evangelización de los pueblos americanos: algunas reflexiones históricas (1997), Diálogos y polifonías: perspectivas y reseñas (1999), Fe y cultura en Puerto Rico (2002), Essays From the Diaspora (2002), God,in your Grace... Official Report of the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (2007) [editor], Teología y cultura en América Latina (2009), Ensayos teológicos desde el Caribe (2013), Peregrinajes teológicos y literarios (2013), Essays from the Margins (2014), Voces teológicas en diálogo con la cultura (2017) [editor], Evocaciones literarias and sociales (2018), Evangelización y violencia: La conquista de América (2020), and Voz profética y teología liberadora (2020).

Jacqueline Hidalgo

Jacqueline M. Hidalgo is associate dean for institutional diversity, equity and inclusion as well as professor of Latina/o/x studies and religion at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Author of Revelation in Aztlán (2016) and co-editor of Latinxs, the Bible, and Migration (2018), her work examines the power of scriptural imaginaries, narratives, and material cultures in shaping relations of race and gender in the American West. A past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States and vice president of the New England/Eastern Canada Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, she also studies religion, scriptures, and culture among Latinx/a/os in the U.S. more generally.

Kristi Upson Saia

Kristi Upson-Saia is professor of religious studies and founding director of the Center for Research & Scholarship at Occidental College. She is a specialist in religions of the late ancient Mediterranean world whose recent research focuses on religious dress and performativity, as well as medicine, health, and healing. She is the co-founder and co-director of the international working group ReMeDHe (pronounced “remedy”) that supports and coordinates scholars working at the intersection of religion and medicine, disability, and health in late antiquity.


Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate 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.”