Franciscan insights into a holistic view of the natural world has long been recognized and, indeed, is central to the intuitive vision of Francis of Assisi. The brother/sisterhood of creatures, intrinsic worth and goodness of the cosmic order, innate qualities of ‘beauty’ and harmonious juxtaposition characterized by relationship are all centred on the perception of a kind of radical image-likeness that extends, not only to humanity, but to the entire natural (and supernatural) order of being. In a way uncompromisingly true to the insight of the Founder, Bonaventure articulates a theology of Creation that encompasses the best that the newly positive ethos of his 12th/13th century milieu could offer within the very specific context of the Franciscan tradition.
This course will examine aspects of Bonaventure’s work pertaining to creation extending from the broad milieu encountered in his thirteenth-century context to specific, key, areas of his speculative thought. Always grounded in scripture, the Seraphic Doctor, nevertheless, employs an impressive array of intellectual and affective tools in order to articulate a theology/spirituality of creation that extends from an integrated metaphysics to careful consideration of the many particulars that comprise the natural world; centred on, and deriving, both existence and meaning from the truism that God is, indeed, Love.
Table of content
I. The Hypostatic Union
II. Johanine's influence on Bonaventure
III. The passion according to Bonaventure
IV. The role of the Holy Spirit in Bonaventure
V. Bonaventure's interpretation of scripture