The Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series

The Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series brings to campus biblical scholars whose pursuit of knowledge demonstrates the complementarity of faith and reason illuminated by the artwork of The Saint John’s Bible. Exemplifying the richness of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, it enhances both the intellectual development and spiritual growth of our students.  

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.

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, outstanding biblical scholars are invited to campus to give public presentations to enhance the interdisciplinary nature of our campus and community learning, while connecting our students and community to the creative, scholarly and spiritual possibilities of the Saint John’s Bible currently on campus.

In addition to the public lectures, each semester artistic events will take place that will bring together professional artists, scholars, teachers and students to work alongside our campus and local communities to foster the importance of the sacramental imagination as is present in the illuminations and calligraphy of The Saint John’s Bible.

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, Ph.D., Chair of the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series Committee, at

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.

Learn more about the lecture series

Fall 2022

“Between the Throne and the Cross: Divine Encounter and Prophetic Mediation in the St. John’s Bible” featuring Anathea Portier-Young, Ph.D.

Spring 2022

“Apocalypse, Now What? Latina/o/xs and the Book of Revelation” featuring Jacqueline M. Hidalgo.

Fall 2021

“U.S. Immigration and Biblical Interpretation: The Politics of Belonging” featuring Francisco Lozada, Jr.

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., teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church, professional doctoral coach, institutional consultant and speaker

Fall 2020

“Biblical Hagar in Black and White” featuring Nyasha Junior, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Temple University

Past Speakers

Upcoming Events

  • God’s Children and Creation Groan for Liberation, Romans 8

    featuring Felipe Legarreta, Ph.D.

    Thursday, February 16, 2023
    7 – 9 p.m.
    University Center, Conference Room A

    At the center of Paul’s most commented letter, Romans, he profoundly expresses his hope for the liberation and redemption of humankind and creation through the Spirit. Framing this presentation between the illuminations of St. John’s Bible in Genesis 1 and Romans 8, we will present and discuss the ethical and social implications of Paul’s argument in this passage, and ethical and social implications to respect and protect our Common Home (Laudato Si 2).

  • “A Summer with the Butterflies”

    Dramatic performance presented by The Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series

    Thursday, February 23, 2023
    7 – 8 p.m.
    University Center, Conference Room A

    Join the St. Mary’s University community for an original one-person performance featuring Lucero (Lucy) Perez. This production is an adaptation of María Fernanda Benavides’ 2019 book, A Summer with the Butterflies: A journey of courage, persistence, and hope. Benavides, a young immigrant, artist and activist in her own right, shares her experiences creating visual art with refugee children from Africa and Latin America.

    Theatre director and writer José Rubén De León brings to life these emotional and playful encounters, honoring the ways art creates opportunity for connection, expression and transformation. Copies of A Summer with the Butterflies will be available for sale at the event.

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