Bonaventure: Wisdom and Trinitarian Theology

Bonaventure: Wisdom and Trinitarian Theology

JPI 869
3 Credits

Over against the Dominican Thomas Aquinas, who was Bonaventure’s most important contemporary 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.

Selected Texts


Jonathan Bieler portrait

Jonathan Bieler

Assistant Professor of Patrology and Systematic Theology

Dr. Bieler received his doctoral degree in theology at the University of Zürich (2017), with a dissertation in Patristics on the coherence of Maximus the Confessor’s thought, which is published by Brill (2019). He taught in the theological faculty at the University of Zürich and assisted the chair of Patristics with teaching and research. In his work, he strives to combine the usage of historical-critical methods with faithfulness to the Church’s living tradition.

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