Miguel A. De La Torre, professor of social ethics and Latinx studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, is the 2021 recipient of the AAR’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.
The Marty Award identifies extraordinary, relevant, broad-reaching contributions to the public understanding of religion. In announcing the award winner, Evan Berry, chair of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion (CPUR) acknowledged De La Torre’s “years of enduring engagement with distinct public audiences outside the academy around important social and ethical issues such as immigration, race, and sexuality.” Berry recognized how De La Torre “communicates his scholarship to lay groups both inside and outside of his own confessional tradition, an effort that requires a different kind of energy and bravery than does working within exclusively academic contexts.”
The focus of De La Torre’s academic work is social ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. He has authored over a hundred articles and published forty-one books, six of which won national awards, and is the recipient of the 2020 AAR Excellence in Teaching Award. Recently, he wrote the screenplay to a documentary on immigration, Trails of Hope and Terror, which has screened in over eighteen film festivals winning over seven awards.
The AAR Marty Award celebrates individuals whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks not just to scholars but more broadly to other publics as well. Founded in 1909, the AAR is an association of religion scholars with some 8,000 members in North America and abroad. The AAR’s mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.