The Theology of St. Bonaventure

Although Bonaventure is one of the most capable and influential scholastic theologians, he has not received the critical attention of his younger contemporary, Thomas Aquinas. While he is by no means overlooked, scholarship on his impressive body of work, especially scholarship done in English, feels tentative and incomplete. He has not engendered the types of unifying, systemic interpretations that Aquinas so often has. No doubt this is due in part to the nature of his writing, which, after his initial university years, tends to be spiritual and poetic rather than philosophical and systematic. And yet, a deep concern not only for consistency but also for philosophical rigor runs through his work right to the end of his life.

I am in engaged in a project that I expect to issue in three monographs on Bonaventure’s theology. The first volume addresses how to read the corpus, with its varying genres and with attention to questions of change over time. The second volume is a systematic theological approach, explicating Bonaventure’s system. The third volume is more constructive in nature, illustrating what constructive retrieval of Bonaventure might look like by a series of Bonaventurean readings of various ideas.