Even though it has existed alongside other theologies of liberation and alongside other forms of contextual religious discourse since at least 1975, Hispanic or Latino theology still remains unknown or undiscovered by many in the wider arena of theological and religious scholarship.1 I suppose that this neglect is related to and continues a long history of disrespect toward Latino/as and of their being rendered invisible or insignificant in the United States. However, I suspect that the neglect of Latino/a theology could also be tied to the failure to make a distinction between it and Latin American liberation theology. In other words, it is possible that people who study, follow, or do theology may mistakenly identify, equate, or lump together Latino/a theology with the liberationist theologies that have emerged in Mexico and in the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean Basin and of Central and South America. But this is a faulty assumption, not only because each of the theological expressions that has emerged from these countries on the southern side of the U.S.-Mexican border deserves mentioning and study in its own right but also because Hispanic/Latino(a) theology should be seen as a distinctive form of theological colloquy in itself.
Although influenced in certain respects by the mode of liberation theology or justice-seeking theological address that emerged in different parts of Latin America, Latino/a academic theology exemplifies the religious and theological inflections of Hispanic people living in the United States of America. In other words, Latino/a theology is a North American theological tradition—a theological tradition that is bred and based in the United States. This theological voice flows from the thought, writings, and activities of a heterogeneous group of theologians, comprised of people who can trace their ancestry in some way or another to different parts of Spanish-speaking Latin America but yet call the United States their home. The written and oral presentations of this group of theologians deserve attention and apprecia-