Dr. Carmen M. Nanko-Fernández, a self-described Hurban@́ (Hispanic and urban) theologian, is part of the 1.5 generation in Latin@́ theologies. Carmen’s research and scholarship in Latin@́ theologies have further developed the role of lo popular as source for theology. Her publications include the books Theologizing en Espanglish (Orbis), and Campus Ministry: Identity, Mission, and Praxis (NCEA) as well as numerous chapters, scholarly and pastoral articles on Latin@́ theologies, theological education, sport and theology—with particular focus on béisbol/baseball and Pope Francis.

Carmen’s writing appears in various periodicals and journals such as Commonweal, National Catholic Reporter, Aztlán: Journal of Chicano Studies, and The Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology. Carmen founded, and, with Miguel Díaz and Gary Riebe-Estrella, SVD, co-edits the multivolume series Disruptive Cartographers: Doing Theology Latinamente (Fordham University Press) which released its third volume in Fall 2023. She is currently completing her book ¿El Santo? Baseball and the Canonization of Roberto Clemente (Mercer University Press).

Carmen presents regularly in a broad range of academic and pastoral venues, though she counts among the highlights a paper delivered in Cooperstown at a conference co-sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Her work in sport and theology has also netted invitations to meet with athletic departments in Catholic secondary and higher educational contexts on issues of mission.

Carmen’s scholarship and service in theological education, in ministry, in professional associations, on editorial boards, and with colleagues and institutions in higher education reflect ongoing commitments to agency, access, representation, and justice especially for communities too often underrepresented, marginalized and/or minoritized in the academy, the Catholic church, and in publication/media. Through her work with, among others, the Hispanic Theological Initiative and the Louisville Institute she participates in the professional development and mentoring of doctoral students and faculty.

As a member of several learned societies, Carmen has exercised leadership and service in the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), and the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). A past treasurer and president of ACHTUS she received their Virgilio Elizondo Award for “distinguished achievement in theology.”

Carmen M. Nanko-Fernández


Hispanic/Latin@ Theologies
Sport and Theology
Public Theology
Scripture Commentaries and Preaching
Select Publications and Presentations
Carmen’s scholarship focuses on la vida cotidiana as locus theologicus, in other words as source, content, context and site of theologizing. Such an approach appreciates the accessibility of divine revelation in the daily, the particular, and the local.
Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community and Ministry (Orbis, 2010/2014 Kindle).

Book Chapters
“Lo Cotidiano as Locus Theologicus.” In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Latinoax Theology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2023) 3-24.

“Playing en los márgenes: Lo popular as locus theologicus.” In The Word Became Culture (Fordham University Press, 2023) 93-113.
“Performative Theologies: Ritualizing the Daily Latinamente.” In The Wiley Blackwell Reader in Practical Theology (Wiley Blackwell, 2019) 79- 90.

“Puerto Rican Comings and Goings: Jewish Identities and the Complications of Diaspora,” co-authored with Jean-Pierre Ruiz. In Righting Relations after the Holocaust and Vatican II in honor of John Pawlikowski (Paulist Press, 2018) 270-97.

“A ‘Documented’ Response: Papal Teaching and People on the Move.” In Immigrant Neighbors Among Us (Wipf and Stock, 2015) 1-21.

“Dialogues in the Margins: The Biblia de Alba and the Future of Catholic-Jewish Understanding,” co-authored with Jean-Pierre Ruiz. In Toward the Future: Essays on Catholic-Jewish Relations in Memory of Rabbi León Klenicki (Paulist Press, 2013) Chapter 16.

“Alternately Documented Theologies: Mapping Border, Exile and Diaspora.” In Religion and Politics in America’s Borderlands (Lexington Books, 2013) 33-55.

“Creation: A Cosmo-politan Perspective.” In In Our Own Voices: Latino/a Renditions of Theology (Orbis, 2010) 41-63.

“¡Despierta Iglesia! Reconfiguring Theologies of Ministry Latinamente.” In Ministries in the Church, (Concilium Series, 2010/1, SCM, 2010) 93-102. (Multiple translations available).

“From Pájaro to Paraclete: Retrieving the Spirit of God in the Company of Mary.” In Building Bridges, Doing Justice: Constructing a Latino/a Ecumenical Theology (Orbis 2009) 13-28.

Journal Articles

“A View from the City: Creation, Recreation, y la Nueva Creación,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, Vol. 21 no.1 (2019), 1-33,

“The Diaspora Bites Back: Eschatology en la teología profética de Luis Rivera Pagán,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, November 2012, 19-23.

“Locating the Daily: Lo cotidiano as a Locus for Exploring Christian–Jewish Relations Latinamente,” Apuntes 29:2 (Summer 2009), 56-72.

“Theologizing en Espanglish: The Imago Dei in the Vernacular,” ACHTUS Presidential Address (2008), Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology (2009).

Popular Media
For links to articles in “Theology en la Plaza” column in the National Catholic Reporter go to:
“Reading for discomfort,” in “We breathe together,” 6/12/2020.
“Good intentions, right representation and writing latinidad,” 2/11/2020.
“A legacy of Latin@́s theologizing on borderlands,” 10/18/2019.

“Latin@ Theology and the Preferential Option for Culture,” America, April 10, 2015,

Notable Lectures/Presentations
“¡Ay Bendito! Theologizing latinamente on Dis-Ability Hyphens,” Summer Institute on Theology & Disability,” plenary, Western Theological Seminary and Hope College, Holland MI (May 2019).

“‘the walls are sprayed in gospel’: Re-Reading the Signs of the Times as a Global-Local Church,” keynote, Vatican II @ 50 Symposium, Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA (February 2014).

Select Publications and Presentations
Carmen is among the only Latin@́ theologians with research focusing on sport and theology from distinctly Hispanic perspectives. Her scholarship pushes the edges of Latin@́ theologizing on lo popular by exploring those “faiths of the people” that find expression in practices that are not explicitly or overtly religious.
Book Chapters
“Playing en los márgenes: Lo popular as locus theologicus.” In The Word Became Culture, (Fordham University Press, 2023) 93-113.
“¿Dios Bendiga Whose América? Resisting the Ritual Theologizing of Nation.” In Religion and Sport in North America (Routledge, 2023) 246-275.

“Turning Those Others’ Cheeks: Racial Martyrdom and the Re-Integration of Major League Baseball.” In Gods, Games, and Globalization (Mercer University Press, 2019) 239-262.

“Ordinary Theologies, Extraordinary Circumstances: Baseball at the Intersections of Faith and Popular Culture.” In Recovering 9/11 in New York (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014) 68-87.

“Safe @ Home y en Diáspora: The Sanctification of Roberto Clemente,” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 47.1, Spring 2022, 167-177.

“¿Dios Bendiga Whose América? Resisting the Ritual Theologizing of Nation,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, Vol. 22 no.1 (2020),

“Pope Francis and his ‘secular encyclical’ on sport,” Theology en la Plaza, National Catholic Reporter, March 1, 2021,

For links to Sport and Theology articles in Commonweal go to: “Baseball’s Saints,”12/23/2022.
“Cold Stats, Complicated Stories,” 10/27/2022.
“The Pope, the President & Paige,” online 11/2/2021, in print 12/2021.
“Béisbol, Baseball, and ‘Bad Hombres’,” online 2/11/2021, in print 2/2021, 58-60.

For links to Sport and Theology articles in “Theology en la Plaza” column in the National Catholic Reporter go to:

“Sneakers are never just sneakers,” 7/12/ 2019
“The politics of baseball, from Fenway Park to the South Lawn,” 5/14/2019,
“Play ball? Like Easter, interruptions to daily rhythms are sometimes needed,” 4/6/2018.

Notable Lectures/Presentations
“Ofrendas to Béisbol: lo popular as Catholic Intellectual Traditioning,” MacTaggert Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series, virtual lecture, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX (March 2023).
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game but Stay 6 Feet Away: Baseball and Theologies of Nation, Recovery, and Resistance,” Sundays at CTU Online, (May 2020)
“¿Dios Bendiga América? Béisbol, Identity, and Competing Theologies of Patriotism,” The Pierre Lecture, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX (February 2018).
“¿Dios Bless Whose América? ‘Playing’ Theologies of Nation and Resistance,” Second Annual Department of Theology Latin@ Symposium, Dominican University, River Forest, IL (March 2016).

“Las Culturas de lo Cotidiano: Popular Culture as Locus Theologicus/Sport as Marginal Text,” The Preferential Option for Culture in Latino/a Theology, A Conversation with Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, colloquium, Loyola University, Chicago, IL (March 2015).

“Work of Human Hands: From Béisbol to Baseball, Ethical Considerations,” Sport as Virtue: Exploring the Theology of Leisure Conference, co-sponsored by Pontifical Council for Culture and St. John’s University, NY (February 2015).

“Angels, Saints and Sinners: Béisbol, Baseball and Ethics,” Third Annual Hispanic Ministry and Theology Lecture, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (September 2013).

“El Santo: Baseball and the Canonization of Roberto Clemente,” St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University, New Haven, CT (March 2013).

“God Bless Whose América? Retrieving the Subversive Memory of Roberto Clemente,” Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture co-sponsored by the Baseball Hall of Fame and SUNY Oneonta, Cooperstown, NY (May 2013).

Virtual Media

“Breaking the Color Barrier, Why Jackie? Why Branch?” Lessons from the Negro Leagues with Steve Taddei (February 2023),

“Jackie Robinson & the Long Shadow of Integration,” panelist, Religion & series, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (March 2022),

With Dominic Preziosi, “Baseball and Borders,” The Commonweal Podcast, February 2021,

Select Publications and Presentations
On Pope Francis

“Fratelli Tutti: A Theology of Encounter en la lucha,” virtual presentation, Indifference is not an Option! Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, and Solidarity Series, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA (February 2021).

“Fratelli Tutti: A Pope among Poets and Prophets,” virtual presentation, International Thomas Merton Society Chicago Chapter and Contemplative Outreach Chicago, Chicago, IL (November 2020).

“What Francis might mean by ‘Fratelli Tutti’: About That Title…,” Commonweal, September 24, 2020,

“Querido Francisco. A theological response to your four sueños,” National Catholic Reporter, February 24, 2020,

“The risky business of doing ‘mercifying’ theology,” National Catholic Reporter, 11 June 2019,

“¡Bienvenido Pope Francisco to Améric@ Latin@!” Huffington Post, September 22, 2015, francisco_b_8170442.html.

Evangelii Gaudium: Pope Francis, Latin@s and Popular Religion as Locus Theologicus, (Episode 6), Joy of the Gospel, CTU Series (2014),

On Contemporary Issues

“Day 6, Letter 6,” in American Values, Religious Voices: Letters of Hope from People of Faith (vol. 2), A. Weiss and L. Weinberger, eds. (University of Cincinnati Press, 2023) 32.
“From Common Good to Convivencia: Religious Liberty and the Cake Wars,” Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 50:1 (Fall 2018), 165-180, 1/nankofernandez_165-180.pdf.

“That Unity that Only Eucharist Can Achieve?” Emmanuel Magazine (July/August 2020), 217-221.

“Day 19, Letter 19.” In American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters, A. Weiss and L. Weinberger, eds. (University of Cincinnati Press, 2018) 47.

The Letters

“Ancient Media for a New Day: Connecting with the Incarnation,” The Living Pulpit (November 2015)

For links to articles in “Theology en la Plaza” column in the National Catholic Reporter go to:

“US bishops’ Eucharist teaching draft neglects realities on the ground,” 11/11/2021.
“Real presence in time of ongoing pandemic,” 8/2/2021.
“The dead and the living deserve better than rushed reconciliation,” 11/18/2020.
“’It is what it is.’ The Assumption says no!” 8/1/2020.
“In a pandemic, when every day feels like Good Friday,” 4/9/2020.
“Hate is not welcome aquí,” w/Arturo J. Bañuelas, M.T. Dávila, Miguel H. Díaz, 8/9/ 2019.
“¡Cese la Represión! A call to conscience,” 1/8/2019.

On Theological Education/Catholic Education
“Cultivating a Borderlands Hermeneutic: What does it mean to be a Catholic Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)?” A Virtual Collegial Conversation en conjunto with Religion and Theology faculty from St. Mary’s University, University of the Incarnate Word, Oblate School of Theology. Sponsored by St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX (March 2023).
“‘Come away by yourselves…’” Retreat with the Catholic High Schools Principals Association (HSPA) in the Archdiocese of Washington, Marriottsville, MD (March 2023).
“Fratelli Tutti: A Theology of Encounter y de Amistad Social,” Mission Officer Conference, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC (February 2023).
“Chateando Mission @́ ‘This Place,’” Virtual Opening Faculty Assembly, University
of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas and México (August 2022).

“Beyond Tokens y Sabor: Exploring the Academic Impact of HTI,” Perspectivas, 25th Anniversary Issue, November 2021,

“Theological education needs more than a splash of ethnic color,” Theology en la Plaza, National Catholic Reporter, August 14, 2018,

“Teaching Theology en Espanglish: A Response to Lucretia B. Yaghjian,” Teaching Theology & Religion, 21:3 (July 2018).

“Held Hostage by Method? Interrupting Pedagogical Assumptions—Latinamente,” Theological
Education, Volume 48, Number 1 (2013): 35–45,

“@́ el Futuro: Theologizing Institutional Identity with and beyond Generations X y Ñ,” El Futuro is Here Conference, Dominican University, River Forest, IL (August 2018).

“¡Una Pneumatología de Basta Ya!” In Sermons from the Latino/a Pulpit, Eliser Valentin, editor, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2017, 28-34.

“Las Pastorelas.” In Wisdom Commentary: Luke, Vol. 1, Barbara Reid et al, editors.
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021, 70-72.

“Marking the Season Latinamente,” On Faith column, newsletter, Bread for the World
December/Advent 2021,

“Communities on the Hyphen: The Acts of the Apostles and el Camino,” Bible Today (May 2014): 147–154.

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, (April/May 2015; February 2014; December 2012/January 2013; August/September 2012; December 2011; November 2010; August/September 2008).

“Theological Perspective:” John 5: 39-47, John 6:1-15, John 6:16-21; “Pastoral Perspective:” John 8:39-47. In Feasting on the Gospels–John, Volume 1, Cynthia A. Jarvis, E. Elizabeth Johnson, eds. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015.

“Theological Perspective:” Luke 13:18-2, Luke 13:22-30. In Feasting on the Gospels—Luke, Volume 2, Cynthia A. Jarvis, E. Elizabeth Johnson, eds. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.

“Pastoral Perspective:” Mark: 14:1-2; 10-11; Mark 14: 3-9; Mark 14:12-16. In Feasting on the Gospels—Mark, Cynthia A. Jarvis, E. Elizabeth Johnson, eds. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.

Theological Perspective for “Baptism of the Lord (1st Sunday after the Epiphany), Psalm 29;” “2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, Psalm 40:1-11;” “3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, Psalm 27:1, 4-9.” In Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary Year A, Volume 1: Advent through Transfiguration. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010.

Link to CTU Scripture Reflections:



“A reflection for the feast of the Epiphany,” homily text and video, US Catholic, January 8, 2023,

Third Sunday of Advent/Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, (December 12, 2021), Catholic Women Preach, homily text and video,
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 27, 2019), homily, text and video, Catholic Women Preach, Published as Third Sunday in Ordinary Time “The Spirit as urban pigeon,” Catholic Women Preach: Raising Voices and Renewing the Church Cycle C (Orbis, forthcoming 2024)