The Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series Endowment is for the recruitment of scriptural scholars, research and curriculum design at St. Mary’s University and related programmatic support throughout the Archdiocese of San Antonio. This program ensures St. Mary’s plays a lead role in advancing Catholic Studies.


2020-2021 Speakers

  • Nyasha Junior, Ph.D.


    Nyasha Junior, Ph.D.
    Lecturer, Biblical Hagar in Black and White

  • Shanell Smith

    Shanell T. Smith, Ph.D.
    Lecturer, I Am Babylon: A Postcolonial Womanist Interpretation of the Woman Babylon in the Book of Revelation


About the Lecture Series

Attendees view the Saint John's Bible at the Escobedo Saint John's Bible Lecture Series

Thanks to a generous gift from former Board of Trustees Chairman Ruben Escobedo, a 1960 graduate of St. Mary’s, and his wife Veronica Salazar Escobedo, the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series was created and allows St. Mary’s University to share the remarkable illuminated pages with members of the St. Mary’s community, and with faith communities from across Texas and the nation.

Each year, through the Lecture Series, outstanding biblical scholars are invited to campus for a public presentation at St. Mary’s and at Holy Rosary Catholic Church adjacent to the campus. These presentations take advantage of and enhance our campus and community learning, while connecting our students and community to the Saint John’s Bible currently on campus.

They are also interdisciplinary in nature, reflecting on aspects of sacred scripture, interpretation, lived religious experience, and spiritual insight in conversation with other fields of study.

The Escobedo lectures are often part of a larger program in collaboration with academic departments and student life programs, such as University Ministry and Community Engagement, pairing scholarly presentations of the Bible with other creative, intellectual, and spiritual endeavors.

At St. Mary’s, the volumes of The Heritage Edition have been in classrooms, at new student orientations, in campus liturgies and at the Marianists’ residential communities. In addition, volumes are exhibited year-round in special hand-crafted display cases in St. Louis Hall, the University’s signature building, and the Louis J. Blume Library on campus. Faculty, students, parents, alumni, donors, and other friends of the University experiencing The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition in conjunction with the Escobedo programs have been astounded by the Bible at both on- and off-campus events at which has been exhibited. Learn more about the Saint John’s Bible at St. Mary’s University.

For more information, contact Bob O’Connor, Ph.D., Director of The Saint John’s Bible Project at St. Mary’s University at 210-436-3799, or Sara Ronis, Chair of the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series Committee, at sronis@stmarytx.edu.


Fall 2020

Biblical Hagar in Black and White 

featuring Nyasha Junior, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Temple University

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom 

  • Nyasha Junior, Ph.D.

    About Nyasha Junior, Ph.D.
    Nyasha Junior, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia. For the 2020-21 academic year, she is a visiting associate professor of Women’s Studies and African-American Religions at Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Junior writes, teaches, speaks and frequently tweets on religion, race, gender and their intersections. She is the author of An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015) and Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible (Oxford University Press, 2019) and the co-author of Black Samson: The Untold Story of an American Icon (Oxford University Press, 2020). For more information, visit nyashajunior.com, and follow her on Twitter @NyashaJunior.  


Spring 2021

I Am Babylon: A Postcolonial Womanist Interpretation of the Woman Babylon in the Book of Revelation 

featuring Rev. Shanell T. Smith, Ph.D.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 
6:30 to 8 p.m. via Zoom 

  • About Rev. Shanell T. Smith, Ph.D.
    Smith is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church, a professional doctoral coach, an institutional consultant and speaker. She is the author of Touched: For Survivors of Sexual Assault Like Me Who Have Been Hurt by Church Folk and for Those Who Will Care (Fortress Press, 2020), The Woman Babylon and the Marks of Empire: Reading Revelation with a Postcolonial Womanist Hermeneutics of Ambiveilence and Bible (Emerging Scholars) (Fortress Press, 2014), Today’s Prayer-Volume Two: In Jesus’ Name – A Devotional (2004) and Today’s Prayer: Volume One – A Devotional (2002). For more information, visit shanelltsmithconsulting.com, or follow her on Twitter @ShanellTSmith.

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