College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Philosophy > Faculty > Rafael Vizcaíno

Rafael Vizcaíno

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  • Assistant Professor and Director of Teaching Practicum
  • ​​PhD
  • Philosophy
  • Faculty
  • 773/325-7265
  • 2352 N. Clifton, Suite 150, Office 5

PhD, Rutgers University


Rafael was educated at Rutgers University – New Brunswick and at Northwestern University. As a philosopher who specializes in Latin American and Caribbean thought, his work employs decolonial approaches to examine the intersections between racereligionpolitics, and secularization. In 2020, he earned the American Philosophical Association’s Essay Prize in Latin American Thought.

Rafael’s first book, tentatively titled Decolonizing the Postsecular, brings debates on epistemic decolonization to bear on sociological and philosophical theories of secularization and postsecularity as developed by figures such as José Casanova and Jürgen Habermas. It specifically traces a relation between processes of secularization and processes of colonization in the West and offers a new account of the modern “dialectics of secularization” from the perspective of decolonization. Publications related to this project can be found in the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy (on Enrique Dussel), The Journal of Speculative Philosophy (on Gloria Anzaldúa), and Comparative and Continental Philosophy (on Sylvia Wynter).

His second book project, tentatively titled Modernity as Political Theology: A Decolonial Argument, expands on one line of inquiry opened in Decolonizing the Postsecular: the relation between philosophy of religion and political theology in the context of epistemic decolonization. Thus far, a publication related to this project can be found in the Journal of World Philosophies (a meta-theoretical critique of liberation philosophy).

His work has also explored the question of spirituality, as an editor of special issues (The CLR James Journal and LÁPIZ), and as part of a postsecular phenomenology of violence (Radical Philosophy Review). His more general contributions to decolonial thinking can be found in the anthology Decolonising the University (on decolonizing philosophy), and TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World (on the Zapatistas).

At DePaul, he is on the advisory boards for the Honors Program and the Center for Religion, Culture and Community.

For the latest information on his research, teaching, and scholarly activities, please visit his website.


Recent news about Rafael:

  • Hispanic Theological Initiative Open Plaza podcast interview: EnglishCastellano.
  • DePaul Newsline faculty spotlight.
  • Contribution to DePaul’s Courageous Dialogue Series.
  • American Philosophical Association’s news release about receiving the 2020 Essay Prize in Latin American Thought.