From traditional Christian crosses to Jewish menorahs, from rainbow patterns to butterfly wings, The Saint John’s Bible stands as a fine example of intertextuality with visual leitmotifs running through its pages, connecting one book and story to another. While the images are certainly beautiful to look at, they also serve a deeper purpose in the Bible’s sacred story. Using depictions from The Saint John’s Bible as the basis for the discussion, Fr. Michael Patella, the chair of the Committee on Illumination and Text for the Bible, will explore the meaning of these leitmotifs and the role they play in the composition of The Saint John’s Bible itself.
Fr. Michael Patella
A Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, Fr. Michael Patella is a professor of New Testament and teaches in both the undergraduate theology department and the graduate School of Theology at Saint John’s University, where he serves as seminary rector and the director of the graduate school’s Holy Land Studies Program. He has published on Luke, Mark, Paul, angels, demons, art and theology, and has written for The Bible Today and Give Us This Day. His most recent book, Word and Image: the Hermeneutics of The Saint John’s Bible, the fruit of his work as a chair of the Committee on Illumination and Texts for The Saint John’s Bible, won a Catholic Press Association Award.