Drew Theological School Alum Mayra Rivera T’01,’05 Serves as President of AAR

The alum earned a PhD and master’s from Drew

November 2022 – For religious and theological studies scholars, the weekend before Thanksgiving in November is synonymous with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting.

As the elected 2022 AAR President, Mayra Rivera T’01,’05 and the AAR staff coordinate more than 1,000 events, academic sessions, workshops, meetings, receptions, and tours over the three-day event, in addition to numerous related meetings prior to the formal start of the annual meeting. An anticipated 10,000 scholars from across the globe will attend the event.

The AAR is the largest scholarly society dedicated to the academic study of religion, with more than 8,000 members around the world. The AAR’s mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.

Rivera earned a PhD in Theological and Religious Studies and a Master’s of Theological Studies from Drew Theological School.

Currently, Rivera is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Religion and Latinx Studies at Harvard University. Rivera’s scholarship engages the crossroads between philosophy of religion, literature, and theories of coloniality, race, and gender. Her research explores the relationship between discursive and material dimensions in shaping human embodiment and socio-material ecologies. 

“Drew Theological School is extremely proud to call Dr. Rivera an alum, and we continue to be inspired by her creative scholarship, many accomplishments, and leadership,” said Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte. 

Rivera has published several books, including Poetics of the Flesh and The Touch of Transcendence: A Postcolonial Theology of God

She is also co-editor of Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology with Drew’s Edmund S. Janes Professor of New Testament Studies Stephen Moore and Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire with Drew’s George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology Catherine Keller and Michael Nausner.


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