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Fr. Michael Patella’s Lecture to St. Edward’s University Underscores The Saint John’s Bible’s “Cultural Context”

The Bible is part of a “living history” at St. Edward’s

Posted October 23, 2019 in Education
Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, presenting to St. Edward's University in October 2019. (Photo credit: Chelsea Purgahn/St. Edward’s University)

St. Edward’s University in Texas hosted Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, of Saint John’s University as part of The Most Reverend John McCarthy Lecture Series. Fr. Patella, biblical scholar, Professor of New Testament studies, and author of Word and Image: The Hermeneutics of The Saint John’s Bible, discussed “the world of Catholic theology, art, and culture that arises from the images and text of The Saint John’s Bible.”

The Most Reverend John McCarthy Lecture Series is free and open to the public. The series honors the Most Reverend John McCarthy, who led the Diocese of Austin from 1985 to 2001, and to underscore the university’s commitment to its Catholic roots and Holy Cross heritage. Held on campus by the School of Arts and Humanities, the McCarthy Lecture Series brings Catholic religious and lay experts from around the country to discuss issues facing the Catholic Church in the 21st century.

St. Edward’s is currently celebrating its Year with The Saint John’s Bible. The university’s Munday Library is exhibiting The Saint John’s Bible through November with weekly page-turnings on Tuesdays. Fr. Patella’s presentation was complemented by a room-spanning display of details and illuminations from the pages of the Heritage Edition and accompanied by a musical score.

“Setting the illuminations to music was only the half of it,” said Richard J. Bautch, Ph. D, Professor of Humanities and Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at St. Edward’s. “With five projectors in the auditorium, each illumination became like the night sky arching around you in every direction. The music added not simply texture but an aura to every image.”

“It shows it’s a book for all time,” Fr. Patella said to a gathering of students and faculty at Jones Auditorium at St. Edward’s. “It’s not historical. It’s written in history, but it’s a living history, now living tradition, that continues today and on to tomorrow. So we’re just part of the stream of bringing on to a new generation another interpretation of the Bible.”