Bonaventure: Wisdom and Trinitarian Theology

JPI 869

Over against the Dominican Thomas Aquinas, who was Bonaventure’s most important contemporary thinker and proceeded according to a more Aristotelian methodological framework, the Franciscan Bonaventure further developed a contemplative and symbolical (one could say Platonic) way of thinking similar to the Fathers. Concretely, Bonaventure took up Trinitarian Theology from Alexander of Hales and others, then very much developed it by integrating this theology into his philosophical thinking via the transcendentals of the one, the true, and the good. This method brings to light aspects of theology as well as philosophy that the Greek Fathers were perhaps hesitant to make explicit. In his work entitled A Mind’s Itinerary to God, Bonaventure demands from his reader a ruminative reading, thereby highlighting the depth of reflection and the wealth of content we may find in the relatively short treatise, which engages the whole person in the ascent towards God. In this seminar, we will read and ruminate on several of Bonaventure’s writings without leaving aside their historical context and discover how fruitful the dialogue between theology and philosophy can be for Christian life in the Church.

Course Texts for Spring 2020

• Hayes, Zachary, The Hidden Center: Sprituality and Speculative Christology in St. Bonaventure, Franciscan Institute Publications, 2012 (reprint)
• Bonaventure, Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity, transl. Z. Hayes (Works of St. Bonaventure Series Volume III), Franciscan Institute Publications 2000.
• Bonaventure, Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, ed. By. P. Boehner and Z. Hayes (Works of St. Bonaventure Series Volume II), Franciscan Institute Publications 2002. 
• Bonaventure, The Life of St. Francis, transl. E. Cousins (Classics of Western Spirituality), Paulist Press 1979.

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