José Francisco Morales Torres

José Francisco Morales Torres portait

José Francisco Morales Torres

Associate Professor of Comparative Theology & Philosophy

[email protected]

As a historical and comparative theologian, Professor Morales places historical voices into conversation with historically marginalized voices, within and beyond the Christian tradition, offering radical re-articulations of the affirmations of faith for today’s realities. His research interests include: comparative and contextual approaches to historical theology; the development of Christian doctrines; Jewish-Muslim-Christian encounters in medieval philosophy and theology; liberation theologies; and the history of Latin American and Caribbean philosophy.  Thoroughly interdisciplinary in his approach, Professor Morales weaves together comparative theology, history of thought, and philosophy (especially existentialism and phenomenology). His most recent book is Wonder as a New Starting Point for Theological Anthropology: Opened by the World (Lexington Books, 2023), which proposes a new theological anthropology informed by the experience of wonder.

Como teólogo histórico y comparativo, el profesor Morales pone voces históricas en conversación con voces históricamente marginadas dentro y fuera de la tradición cristiana, ofreciendo rearticulaciones radicales de las afirmaciones de fe para las realidades de hoy. Sus áreas de interés investigativo abarcan los enfoques comparativos y contextuales en la teología histórica; el desarrollo de doctrinas cristianas; los encuentros judío-islamo-cristianos en la filosofía y la teología medievales; las teologías de la liberación; y la historia de la filosofía latinoamericana y caribeña. El profesor Morales entrelaza la teología comparativa, la historia del pensamiento y la filosofía (especialmente el existencialismo y la fenomenología) en su metodología plenamente interdisciplinaria. Su libro reciente es Wonder as a New Starting Point for Theological Anthropology: Opened by the World (Lexington Books, 2023), que propone una nueva antropología teológica informada por la experiencia de la maravilla.

Professor Morales is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). His ministry experience is broad, including congregational pastorate, advocacy, community organizing, wider denominational leadership, and education. He is married to Rev. Daphne M. Gascot Arias, also an ordained Disciples of Christ minister currently working on her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible. They share life and laughs with their daughters Daphne Magnolia and Yael Marie.

El profesor Morales es un ministro ordenado en la Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo). Su experiencia ministerial es amplia, e incluye el pastoreo congregacional, la defensa y organización comunitarias, el liderazgo denominacional y la enseñanza. Está casado con la Reverenda Daphne M. Gascot Arias, también ordenada con los Discípulos de Cristo, quien actualmente está completando su Ph.D. en Biblia Hebrea/Antiguo Testamento. Comparten su vida y sus risas con sus hijas Daphne Magnolia y Yael Marie.

MY PEDAGOGY: “I am committed to nurturing both critical rigor toward, and faithful appreciation of, the Christian tradition that listens deeply for liberative timbres and undertones previously unheard or ignored. Informed by liberationism, pragmatism and critical theory, I am committed to vocational formation as revolutionary praxis. At its best, pedagogy is transforming, liberating and scandalous, for it offers a vision of what hopefully might be and an indictment of what unfortunately is. Specifically pertaining to Latinx studies and religion, I excitingly unearth Latin American/Caribbean philosophical and theological traditions previously unrecognized or underutilized in North Atlantic theologizing, so as to expand theological imagination and construction in useful and radical ways.”

MI PEDAGOGÍA: «Estoy comprometido a cultivar tanto un rigor crítico como una fiel apreciación hacia la tradición cristiana que busquen una escucha profunda de los timbres y matices liberadores que han sido previamente ignorados en la tradición. Informado por el liberacionismo, el pragmatismo y la teoría crítica, estoy comprometido con la formación profesional como praxis revolucionaria. En sus mejores momentos, la pedagogía es transformadora, liberadora y escandalosa, pues ofrece una visión esperanzadora de las cosas como pueden ser, y una denuncia de las cosas como lamentablemente son. Con respecto a los estudios latinos, me propongo a descubrir tradiciones filosóficas y teológicas latinoamericanas/caribeñas previamente no reconocidas o subutilizadas en el ámbito teológico del mundo noratlántico con el fin de expandir la imaginación y la construcción teológica de maneras útiles y radicales».


  • B.A., Judson University (Elgin, IL), 2001
  • M.Div., McCormick Theological Seminary, 2005
  • Ph.D., Claremont School of Theology, 2019.

Sample Courses/Ejemplos de cursos

  • History of Christian Thought
  • Latinx Studies and Religion: Questions, Methods, and Issues
  • Philosophies of Race and Theology
  • Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Church History
  • Comparative Theology: Questions, Methods and Issues
  • Latin American Liberation Theologies: Historical Sources and Contemporary Relevance
  • The Trinity: A Historical and Theological Survey
  • Global Sensitivity in Ministry


  • 2023. Wonder As a New Starting Point for Theological Anthropology: Opened by the World. Lexington Books.
  • 2023. “The Hidden White Flesh of White Christian Nationalism: Anthropological Docetism and the Forging of Idols,” pp. 313–327. In Sheep’s Clothing: The Idolatry of White Christian Nationalism. Edited by George Yancy and Bill Bywater. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • 2023. “On (In-)Visibilities,” pp. 79–97. In Moved by the Spirit: Religion and the Movement for Black Lives. Edited by Christophe D. Ringer, Teresa L. Smallwood, and Emilie M. Townes. Lexington Books.
  • 2019. “The Presence and Absence of Faith: Being Faithful to Christian Particularity and Committed to Interreligious Engagement.” Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary (Spring): 16–22.
  • 2014. “Hurricanes and Lilies: Glimpses of God When Disaster Strikes.” In Help and Hope: Disaster Preparedness and Response Tools for Congregations. Chalice Press.
  • 2007. Fear, Cultural Idolatry and the Liberating Power of Faith: On Immigration in the U.S. In For You Were Once a Stranger: Immigration in the U.S. Through the Lens of Faith. Edited by Interfaith Worker Justice. Chicago: Interfaith Worker Justice.
  • 2022. Book Review: “Thatamanil, John. Circling the Elephant: A Comparative Theology of Religious Diversity. New York: Fordham University Press, 2020. xx1296 pp.” Journal of Religion 296–97.
  • 2021. Book Review: “Rosario Rodríguez, Rubén Dogmatics after Babel: Beyond Theologies of Word and Culture.” Journal of Religion 101 (3): 424–26.
  • 2018. Book Review: “Justo L. González, The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian between Two Cultures. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016; pp. 175. Journal of Religious History 42 (1): 136–37.
  • 2016. Book Review: “Paul C. H. Lim, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012; pp. xvi + 488.” Journal of Religious History 39 (4): 625–26.