Works of St. Bonaventure Series, Volume XVI
by RE Houser and Timothy B. Noone
Without exception, every word of philosophy Bonaventure ever wrote is contained in works explicitly religious - in sermons, works of spiritual direction, and theology. For this reason, we begin by looking at Bonaventure s conception of theology and the place of philosophical reasoning within it. In his attempt to present a theology that is a science which leads us to wisdom, Bonaventure uses language that might at first glance seem to be merely metaphorical. However, Bonaventure s care in using precise and philosophical language to understand God is a tribute to the optimism the greatest Masters of Theology at mid-thirteenth century Paris had in the rational possibilities of the human mind.
This volume has not been designed to cover all the profound points Br. Bonaventure made in treating God philosophically in his Commentary. Instead, it highlights a few critical issues, giving the reader a preliminary view of the whole, before plunging into the vast and refreshing pool that is Bonaventure s philosophy of God.
Translated by Jose de Vink and Robert J. Karris, OFM (2010)
In twelve chapters St. Bonaventure defends the Franciscan way of life against the attacks of Parisian Master, Gerard of Abbeville. Bonaventure clarifies the meaning of evangelical perfection, gospel povert, and the imitation of Christ. He distinguishes different kinds of perfection and clearly indicates how the Old Testament relates to the dispensation of grace in the New Testament and how it is to be interpreted. This volume is a companion to Bonaventure’s Disputed Questions on Evangelical Perfection (Works of St. Bonaventure XIII).