Sánchez-Walsh, Arlene M. 1966-

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Sánchez-Walsh, Arlene M. 1966-


Born October 1, 1966, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Miguel M. and Concepción Sánchez; married Timothy A. Walsh (a media technician), April 11, 1992; children: Soledad K. and Siobhan R. Ethnicity: "Mexican-American." Education: California State University, Los Angeles, B.A., 1993; Claremont University, M.A., 1997, Ph.D., 2001. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Pentecostal.


Home—South Pasadena, CA. Office—Azusa Pacific University, 901 E. Alosta Ave., Azusa, CA 91702-7000. E-mail—[email protected].


Academic and historian. California Baptist University, Riverside, adjunct professor, 1998-99; Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, adjunct professor, 1998-99; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, program director of immigrant studies and research assistant, 1999-2000; DePaul University, Chicago, IL, assistant professor, 2000-05; Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, associate professor of church history and Latino church studies, 2005—. Consultant, Association of Vineyard Churches, 1999—; Lilly fellow at Emory University, 2006; visiting associate professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, 2006—.


Society for Pentecostal Studies, American Society of Church History, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, American Academy of Religion, Association for Hispanic Theological Education.


Book award, Hispanic Theological Initiative, 2005, for Latino Pentecostal Identity; recipient of numerous research grants.


Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self, and Society, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor of entries to numerous encyclopedias. Contributor of chapters to various scholarly books. Contributor of articles to academic journals, including Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, Church History, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal, Evangelical Studies Bulletin, Studia Swedenborgiana, and Books & Culture.


Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh is an American academic and historian. Completing her higher education degrees at Claremont University, Sánchez-Walsh went into a career in academia. Her research interests include Pentecostalism and Latino Church studies. Sánchez-Walsh is a contributor to a number of periodicals, journals, encyclopedias, and scholarly books on the topics. In 2003 she published her first book, Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self, and Society. Sánchez-Walsh takes a significant demographic of the United States and looks at the way Pentecostalism plays out among Latinos in the United States. She also examines the history of Pentecostalism among Latinos and the difficulties unique to Latinos of that faith.

Douglas Jacobsen, writing in Books & Culture, declared that "anyone interested in understanding Hispanic Protestantism in the United States ought to read" Latino Pentecostal Identity. Jacobsen opened his review, saying: "One of the chief purposes of scholarly publications is to fill gaps in our knowledge of the world, and Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh's Latino Pentecostal Identity … does that admirably. Most scholars of religion know next to nothing about Latino Pentecostalism, and this book will serve as an important guide for future study." Jacobsen was not without criticism, however. He wrote "that the book's title unnecessarily claims too much" as it is not a general summary of Latino Pentecostalism, but instead, focuses more narrowly on Mexican Americans in southern California. Jacobsen approved of this narrower topic, however, and added that "one of the strengths of this book is Sanchez-Walsh's willingness to problematize the boundaries of the Pentecostal movement in ways that most Pentecostals (and most scholars of Pentecostalism) have avoided." Jacobsen ended with an observation on "the way Sánchez-Walsh occasionally allows us to see glimpses of her own ambivalent relationship with Pentecostal faith." Jacobsen concluded: "That push-pull, insider-outsider dynamic gives the book an added sense of depth and authenticity."

Sánchez-Walsh told CA: "As for my motivation, I write so I can shed some light on previously unscripted topics related to American religious history, primarily the role of U.S. Latinos in America's religious landscape.

"Religious historians have influenced me, as well as Latino historians who have taken the same motivation to uncover lost societies. People like Dr. Vicki L. Ruiz, Latina labor historian, and Dr. Randall Balmer, an American religious historian, have both influenced me.

"My writing process begins with a few months of research, strategic thinking about the topic, and then outlining the various chapters with lots of details and subthemes I want to capture. The rest is plugging in research and lots and lots of editing. Inspiration to bridge the academic world and the world of the church, two entities that rarely talk to each other."



Books & Culture, May 1, 2004, Douglas Jacobsen, review of Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self, and Society, p. 34.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2004, review of Latino Pentecostal Identity, p. 17.


Azusa Pacific University School of Theology Web site,http://www.apu.edu/theology/ (December 14, 2007), author profile.

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