David Sánchez

Office of the President
April 8, 2019

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to share that David Sánchez, associate professor of theological studies, died Saturday, April 6, 2019, of a heart attack while hiking. He was 59 years old.

Associate Professor Sánchez was a respected teacher-scholar and beloved colleague. He joined LMU in fall 2005 as a visiting professor, became an assistant professor in fall 2006, and was promoted to associate professor in spring 2012. Last summer he was also director and a faculty member of the Los Angeles cohort for the University of Notre Dame’s Cross-Cultural Leadership Program.

He began his career driving trucks before he found his way to graduate school. Associate Professor Sánchez was a creative scholar, whose studies of the murals of Los Angeles blended theology, migration stories, art, social movements, political identity, and L.A. history. He specialized in New Testament studies with an emphasis on the Apocalypse of John as a literary performance of counter-imperial resistance, in conversation with modern modalities of sociopolitical resistance. Associate Professor Sánchez also studied the role that end-time eschatologies played in early Christian mythmaking and social formations, Guadalupan studies, and contemporary Guadalupan iconography. He authored “From Patmos to the Barrio: The Subversion of Imperial Myths from the Book of Revelation to the Present,” which won the 2009 Hispanic Theological Initiative Book Award.

Associate Professor Sánchez contributed many book chapters and journal articles in his field, served as the book review editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and wrote popular essays that touched his wide range of interests, from American cultures to sports. He was also a frequent expert guest on radio, television, and film, where he was lauded for his engaging manner and profound insight. He served the university in many capacities, including as the Theological Studies Graduate director, as a member of more than a dozen committees, as a respondent at the 2nd annual Hispanic Ministry and Theology Lecture, and as director of the American Cultures Studies program.

Associate Professor Sánchez earned his Ph.D. and M.Phil. from the Union Theological Seminary, his master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and his bachelor’s degree from California State University at Los Angeles.

Funeral services are pending and a memorial on campus will be announced later. 

Please keep David, his two daughters and his extended family, and his many friends in your thoughts and prayers.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.