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 Jason King, Ph.D., Beirne Chair and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies, 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

  • Turning Cheeks? Blue Beetle and Religious Symbols: An Immersive Lecture Experience

    Featuring Neomi De Anda, Ph.D. (B.A. ’97, M.A. ’99)

    Neomi De Anda, Ph.D.

    Thursday, Nov. 16
    4 to 6 p.m. | University Center, Conference Room A

    This interactive lecture experience will use religious imagery presented in the movie Blue Beetle to discuss Matthew 5:39, “But I say to you, Do not resist the evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;” (NRSV). Come prepared to listen to a short lecture, engage in an interactive exhibit, and contribute to a pastoral y teología de y en conjunto. Expect a few surprises and door prizes as well.

    Neomi De Anda, Ph.D. (B.A. ’97, M.A. ’99) serves as the Executive Director for the International Marian Research Institute and is a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Dayton Department of Religious Studies where she teaches courses in religion, languages and cultures, Latinx and Latin American studies, race and ethnic studies, and women and gender studies.

    De Anda holds a Ph.D. in Constructive Theology from Loyola University Chicago and master’s degrees in Theology from the Oblate School of Theology and Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. De Anda has scholarly presentations, publications and exhibitions on her research interests of Mary and breast milk; chisme; LatinoXa Christology; migrations in conjunction with the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative Immigrant Justice Team and maintains a commitment to a border theology at the intersections of the environment, migrations, labor and women because of her roots in El Paso, Texas. 

    De Anda is a Marianist Educational Associate, Human Rights Center Research Associate, a Catholic Lay Marianist and part of the Micah Theotokos Marianist Lay Community

    About the speaker

    DC Blue Beetle movie poster

    “Blue Beetle” Movie Showing
    Sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies and the University Programming Council.

    Wednesday, Nov. 15
    Time: 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
    University Center, Conference Room A

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