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Professor of World Christianity
Drew University


Born and raised in Caracas (Venezuela), he has a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium 1977). Professor of World Christianity at Drew University Theological School since 1992, he has chaired Drew's Church & Society Division and the Ph.D. program in Religion and Society. Has published near 200 articles in 12 languages in journals of 20+ countries. His books in English include Religion and Social Conflicts (Orbis 1982, also published in Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Korean), and the edited volumes, The Future of Liberation Theology (Orbis 1989), Expanding the View (Orbis 1990), and Judaism, Christianity and Liberation (Orbis 1991). Mapas para la Fiesta, his most recent book, was published in Spanish in the United States in 1998 and has 8 editions in South America (7 in Spanish, one in Portuguese); Marxismo y Religin was best essay of the year, 1977-78 in Venezuela). Otto is Associate editor of Cristianismo y Sociedad, Concilium, SIC, Liaisons Internationales, Maiutica, the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, the Journal of World Christianity, the Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, Horizonte - Revista de Estudos de Teologia e Cincias da Religio, and Theology Today; he was formerly in the Editorial Board of Social Compass, the JAAR, and the Journal of Contemporary Religion. He was granted Drew University's Will Herberg Distinguished Professor Award (1997) and the Drew University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award (2007). He was the RRA Douglass Lecturer (2003), and obtained a Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology Award for sabbatical research on Latina Pentecostal congregations in Newark, New Jersey (2006). Otto was reappointed in October 2009 for a 2nd three-year term as Director of the Hispanic Summer Program (, and was elected in November 2009 as Vice President of the American Academy of Religion (a commitment ending with the Presidency of the AAR for 2011-2012).