Touched by This Place: Theological Writing and the Power of Place


Pages: 192

Binding: Softcover

Touched by This Place: Theological Writing and the Power of Place

By: Benjamín Valentín
  • $35.00



“Benjamín Valentín knows place. This beautiful meditation on his place, Spanish Harlem, captures the importance of place for theological reflection and for moral reasoning. This is a book that is both timely and will shortly become timeless.” - Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School

“Announcing a ‘return to place moment,’ Ben Valentín gathers the dimensions, the populations, the urgencies of our living material located-ness into something much richer than ‘context’—into the displaced relationality of place itself. His decolonial pragmatics empowers a radically engaging alternative, neighborly in its immediacy, elegant in its transdisciplinary scope—and inviting in its call.” —Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew Theological School

“With characteristic lucidity and wisdom, Benjamín Valentín invites contextual theologians and philosophers to appreciate more fully the materialist and imaginative dimensions of place.  This highly creative interdisciplinary study offers new and refreshing pathways forward.” —Christopher D. Tirres, Michael J. Buckley Endowed Chair, Santa Clara University

“Benjamín Valentín’s beautifully written book takes readers on a prophetic journey to consider the vital consequence of place in all theological work, especially work engaging questions of justice.  Expect to have your theological imagination stretched.” —Nancy Pineda-Madrid, president, Catholic Theological Society of America, and T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University


In Touched By This Place, Benjamín Valentín brings readers on his journey to answer the question, "Can you tell us where exactly this work was born?" Paying particular attention to Spanish Harlem, where he grew up and lived for twenty-seven years, Valentín encourages readers to recognize how the reality of place as source or wellspring influences and is influenced by human thought, experience, memory, identity, and activity.

Joining a broader movement of place studies in the humanities and social sciences, Touched By This Place calls Christian theology to return to place and places-based thinking and demonstrated this return with a careful attention to and love for the place one calls "home."

Benjamín Valentín is a diasporic Puerto Rican by way of East Harlem in New York City. A cross-disciplinary scholar, he is professor of theology and Latinx studies at the Clough School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College. He has been a frequent faculty member in the Hispanic Summer Program and, since 1999, has worked with the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium.

 Cover design:  Michael Calvente

Cover photo:   “Street Scene, 101st Street, Spanish Harlem, New York City, New York, USA, Bernard Gotfryd, 1967,” Glasshouse Images, Alamy Stock Photo



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