Luis Menéndez-Antuña, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor of New Testament at Boston University of Theology. He was born and raised in Spain in 1976 and came of age during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Though his parents were unable to finish primary school, they would end up becoming farmers that worked hard to provide for their family and were adamant about giving their children the best education possible. Menéndez-Antuña attended Catholic schools all throughout his formative years up until high school; he remarks that, despite attending a Catholic school, he was given a fairly comprehensive education including that of sex ed.
Menéndez-Antuña attended church every Sunday during his youth at a church that was strictly Catholic, yet considered relatively socially progressive. It was run by the Dominican Brotherhood, a Catholic mendicant order that he would later join. His church was one that emphasized the building of one’s ethics to stand with those considered vulnerable within society.
A student of humanities, Menéndez-Antuña studied philosophy and theology in college. After graduating he joined the Dominican Brotherhood. It was there that he lived a simple life and learned the value of communal living. He found it liberating to own absolutely nothing and for the community to provide his basic necessities. Because he was so involved in his community, it drove him towards activism and advocacy. For over twelve years he has worked in prisons helping prisoners transition from a time of incarceration to that of a freed person, lived in homeless shelters helping homeless individuals transition to more humane ways of living, and worked in HIV advocacy.
Menéndez-Antuña considers his biggest accomplishment to be his commitment to living true to himself. His strong sense of morals, values, and ethics have guided him throughout his life. It was his values that led him out of the Dominican Brotherhood, not because he did not enjoy or appreciate his time there, but because he desired to pursue romantic relationships. In addition to his strong moral compass, Menéndez-Antuña is also one of the few openly gay Bible professors in this country. He makes a point to include liberation theology, and queer and postcolonial historiographies within his teachings to give a well-rounded view of religion and the Bible. It is these academic endeavors that awarded him the title of Fulbright Scholar along with numerous grants. In terms of struggles, he finds himself at odds with the individualism found within society at large and the startling lack of community within some places.
His faith and identity have allowed him to become more attuned to the needs of others and that his religion compels him to address issues affecting others. His being Christian has allowed him to see his queer identity as something beyond himself. Menéndez-Antuña finds that these two aspects of himself compliment each other instead of opposing each other.
Menéndez-Antuña considers the idea of legacy to be problematic, in a sense. More than anything his goal in life is not focused on being honored, but on wanting to make an impact. He posits that the fact that people are living and able to experience life is enough of an impact on its own. His work drives him to enable his students to connect with the Divine outside of what they were originally taught.
(This biographical statement was written by Dorya Mason from an interview with Luis Menéndez-Antuña.)
Biography Date: October 2023
This documentary profile of Luis Menéndez-Antuña was produced by Pablo Barrera:
"My Coming Out Story: Luis Menéndez-Antuña" was published in BU Today (2022):
Catholic (Roman) | Theology | Author/editor | Spain | Boston | Massachusetts
“Luis Menéndez-Antuña, Ph.D. | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed March 05, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/luis-menendez-antuna.
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