Princeton, NJ, May 23, 2012–The Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) at Princeton Theological Seminary has announced that Dr. Néstor Medina, assistant professor of theology and culture at Regent University, will receive its annual book prize for 2012. The prize, awarded for his book Mestizaje: (Re)mapping Race, Culture, and Faith in Latina/o Catholicism (Orbis Books), will be presented at HTI’s sixteenth annual summer workshop at Princeton Seminary on Saturday, June 23.

nestor medinaMedina will give a public lecture on the topic “¿Qué hay detrás de nuestros espejos?: Mestizaje, Identity, Culture, and Theology” that evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Cooper Conference Room in the Erdman Center, 20 Library Place in Princeton. Responding to the lecture will be Dr. Roberto Goizueta, the Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College. 

The concept of Mestizaje, a reference to the distinct biological and cultural intermixture that occurred in the “new world,” has become a foundation in U.S. Latina/o theology. Medina’s book traces the subversive and innovative ways in which Catholic theologians, such as Virgilio Elizondo, Orlando Espín, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, and Pilar Aquino, have turned this concept into a powerful framework for articulating the faith experiences of Latina/o communities. At the same time, Medina examines some of the limitations and contradictions inherent in this concept and explores new language for describing the vibrant and complex ethno-cultural and religious identity of Latina/o communities today.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in the Erdman Center. For more information, contact HTI at 609.252.1721 or visit www.ptsem.edu/hti/.

The Hispanic Theological Initiative manages the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium, made up of twenty prestigious Ph.D.-granting institutions. Together their mission is to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Latina/o Ph.D. students across the nation, and to provide forums to exchange best practices to address the needs of Latina/o faculty and students in theological and religious education. The program provides doctoral-level students with mentoring, workshops, and networking funds. HTI is funded by Princeton Theological Seminary and the nineteen Ph.D.-granting institutions.

Princeton Seminary was established in 1812 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a post-graduate professional school of theology. Currently celebrating its Bicentennial, Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.