CBB Interview with Matt Leonard

Matt Retouched Head ShotPETE: Matt you serve as Executive Director at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Can you tell us a little about the Center and its mission?

MATT LEONARD: The St. Paul Center is a Catholic non-profit founded about twelve years ago by Dr. Scott Hahn, his wife Kimberly, and Mike Aquilina. The Center is all about getting Catholics into Sacred Scripture. Particularly, we want to help Catholics read the Bible from the heart of the Church. And we accomplish this mission through a number of programs, books, articles, conferences, and our website (SalvationHistory.com). Some of our outreach is focused on biblical fluency for priests, scholars and teachers of teachers. We call these academic forays our “Letter & Spirit Project.” Programs and materials designed for more “regular Catholics” promoting biblical literacy fall into our “Breaking the Bread Project.” Regardless of their level, all of our materials are aimed at biblical catechesis.

PETE: What does your role as Executive Director entail?

MATT LEONARD: In addition to all the administrative tasks you would generally associate with an Executive Director, I do a lot of writing and speaking. I also direct the Center’s biggest program – Journey Through Scripture – which is our dynamic Bible study series. Of course, traveling is a big part of my job. And my trips take me all over the country (and sometimes the world). It’s great because I get to work with a lot of top-notch Catholic talent and meet wonderful people working hard to spread the truth of our Lord.

PETE: The Center has released 8 volumes thus far of their Letter and Spirit books. Who is the target audience and is this planned as an annual release?

MATT LEONARD: Our annual Letter & Spirit journal is certainly part of our “Letter & Spirit Project” as its name indicates. But it’s not just aimed at academics. A lot of motivated laity read the journals and get a great deal out of them. In fact, it’s the top-selling journal on biblical theology in the world. It’s even available on Amazon! Don’t get me wrong. It’s not “easy” reading, but it isn’t really difficult either. If you want to get into the mind of modern scholars like Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre, and Robert Wilken, or go deeper into tradition through the likes of De Lubac and Daniélou, this journal is for you.

PETE: When can we expect the next release in the Letter and Spirit series and what will it focus on?

MATT LEONARD: Lord willing, volume 9 will publish in November of 2015 and focus on Jesus and the unity of Scripture. In other words, the articles will focus on the Christian tradition of the unity of the Old and New Testaments.

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Letter & Spirit, Vol. 7: The Bible and the Church Fathers: The Liturgical Context of Patristic Exegesis

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 6: For the Sake of Our Salvation: The Truth and Humility of God’s Word

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 5: Liturgy and Empire: Faith in Exile and Political Theology

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 4: Temple and Contemplation: God’s Presence in the Cosmos, Church, and Human Heart (A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology)

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 3: The Hermeneutic of Continuity: Christ, Kingdom, and Creation (Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology)

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 2: The Authority of Mystery: The Word of God and the People of God (A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology)

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 1: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries (Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology)

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