HTI Alumni

Héctor M. Varela Rios

Héctor M. Varela Rios

Raquel and Al Martínez-Fonts Endowed Assistant Professor in Latin American Studies at Villanova University

Field(s) of Study: Theology and Religion 

Growing up in a Methodist church in Puerto Rico, Héctor was always intrigued by lived religion: religiosity beyond doctrine, ministries, or worship—religion within ‘real life.’ This interest, along with his day-to-day experiences with laborers in construction for over two decades, led him to the materiality of the Christian religion and how it catalyzes a more-concrete “theology from below,” coming from and spreading through faith communities. Through research and education, and working among Christians and lo cotidiano, Héctor hopes to contribute to the study of religious expressions and their entanglements with culture and society in general.