Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre of the Hope College religion faculty is author of "The Quest for the Cuban Christ: A Historical Search," published recently by University Press of Florida.

In the book, De La Torre reasons that for all Cubans, Christ must be understood through the historical analysis of Cuban culture. He examines how the Cuban religious experience differs from that of other traditions, including other Latino/a traditions.

He analyzes key figures, groups and periods in Cuban history, as well as the ways that Christ is currently being depicted in Cuban art. He focuses on the art created by marginalized segments of Cuban society, in both Cuba and the United States, exploring how Cuban understanding of Christ has been created by those who were and are oppressed by the Cuban culture, and not by the powerful and privileged.

"The Quest for the Cuban Christ" is De La Torre's second book of the current calendar year. His book "Reading the Bible from the Margins" was published by Orbis Books in the spring.

He is also co-author of the book "Introducing Latino/a Theologies," published in October of 2001, also by Orbis Books. He has also written six book chapters and eight articles published in professional journals since coming to Hope in 1999.

He has four other books en route to publication: "La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami," with University of California Press; "Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America," with Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; "Handbook of U.S. Theologies of Liberation," with Chalice Press; and "Doing Ethics from the Margins," by Orbis Books.

De La Torre is an assistant professor of religion at Hope. He was previously an instructor at Temple University for four years, and prior to that had been an adjunct instructor at Boyce Bible College. He has also been a visiting professor at West Chester University, Immaculata College, Rutgers University and Fuller Theological Seminary.

His numerous professional activities include serving as a member of the editorial board for the "Journal of Religious Ethics," and as founder and organizer of "Etica Latina: A Hispanic Ethical Perspective," an interest group of the Society of Christian Ethics. He is on the Board of Directors of the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, held in October in Holland, and an editorial writer for "The Holland Sentinel."

De La Torre holds a doctorate and master of arts degree in religion from Temple University; a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a master of public affairs degree from American University. He completed his undergraduate degree in political science at Florida International University.