Mayra Rivera

Mayra Rivera

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Religion and Latinx Studies
Mayra Rivera


  • BS ChE, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
  • MTS, PhD, Drew University


Mayra Rivera is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Religion and Latinx Studies at Harvard University. She is the president of the American Academy of Religion.

Rivera works at the intersections between continental philosophy of religion, literature, and theories of coloniality, race and gender—with particular attention to Caribbean postcolonial thought.

Her research explores the relationship between discursive and material dimensions in shaping human embodiment and socio-material ecologies. Her most recent book, Poetics of the Flesh (2015), analyzes theological, philosophical, and political descriptions of “flesh” as metaphors for understanding how social discourses materialize in human bodies. Her book, The Touch of Transcendence: A Postcolonial Theology of God (2007), explores the relationship between models of divine otherness and ideas about interhuman difference. She is also co-editor, with Stephen Moore, of Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology (2010) and, with Catherine Keller and Michael Nausner, of Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire (2004).

Rivera is currently working on a project that explores the relationships between coloniality and climate change through Caribbean thought.

Full CV

Selected publications


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