UNION News

Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, M.Div. ’95

Categories: Alums in the World

What do you do?

I teach theology and ethics, with a focus on liberation theologies and other political theologies, at the undergraduate, MA, and PhD levels at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with young men and women filled with optimism that education is the key to positive social transformation despite the current political climate in which education and knowledge have been replaced by “alternative facts.” As theologians and educators, we must risk speaking truth to power, otherwise we allow the demagogues to manipulate and control public opinion.

How did Union prepare you for this?

My core formation as a liberative theologian and ethicist took place at Union Theological Seminary working with such important figures as James H. Cone, James Washington, Larry Rasmussen, Phyllis Trible, Delores Williams, and Christopher Morse. The texts I read and studied at Union—Harvey Cox, The Secular City, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters & Papers from Prison, Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation, and James H. Cone’s God of the Oppressed—grounded both my pastoral and scholarly work.

How have you stayed connected to Union?

Mostly through academic conferences, where I have maintained relationship with past and current faculty members as well as former classmates.

What would you say to a prospective student?

The reasons I left Virginia and came to study at Union are twofold: First, I wanted to part of the intellectual tradition shaped by such giants as Tillich, Bonhoeffer, and Niebuhr. Second, I wanted the opportunity to engage in ministry in an urban setting. The opportunities afforded to a student in ministry (or to a future academic) at the intersection of these two worlds are not available at any other theological seminary in the nation.

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