Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund


  • Matthew J. Pereira
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9729-4_91


Bonaventure O.F.M. (c. 1217-July 15, 1274) was the lead representative of thirteenth century Augustinianism. Bonaventure was a traditional Augustinian; however, he was also significantly influenced by Aristotelianism. Among other intellectual movements, Augustinianism and Aristotelianism significantly shaped Bonaventure’s search for wisdom (sapientia). The Bonaventurean synthesis attempted to account for a wide breadth of sensible and spiritual realities, ranging from God, humanity, morality, and nature. Essentially, Bonaventure favored faith and theology over reason and philosophy. However, Bonaventure’s approach was all embracing, he was committed to employing all fields of knowledge in his pursuit of knowledge. One of Bonaventure’s most significant accomplishments was his appropriation and advancement of Anselm of Canterbury’s (1033–1109) ontological argument. He was the first of the thirteenth-century theologians to vigorously engage Anselm’s influential ontology. In his Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity, Bonaventure advances his most concentrated argument for the existence of God. In this treatise, Bonaventure argues for three ways, or proofs of the existence of God, which involved the nature of the soul, being and truth, or goodness. The three ways, when fully explicated and understood, will lead the seeker to the indubitable truth of God.

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Primary Sources

  1. Latin Editions of BonaventureGoogle Scholar
  2. Bonaventure (1882–1902) Doctoris seraphici S. Bonaventurae opera omnia: vols I – IV, Commentaria in quator libros sententiarum; vol V, Opuscula varia theologica; vol VI, Commentarius in Sacrum Scripturam; vol VII, Commentarius in evangelium. S. Lucae; vol VIII, Opuscula varia ad theologicam mysticam et res Ordiniis Fratrum minorum spectantia; vol IX, Sermones de tempore, de sanctis, de B. Virgine Maria et de diversis; vol X, Operum omnium complementum, ed. The Fathers of the Collegium S. Bonaventure. Ex typographia Collegii S. Bonaventure, Ad Claras Aquas (Quaracchi)Google Scholar
  3. Bonaventure (1934) Collationes in hexaemeron, ed. Delorme F, OFM. Bibliotheca Franciscana Scholastica Medii Aevi, vol 8. Collegium S. Bonaventure, Ad Claras Aquas (Florentia)Google Scholar
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English Translations of Bonaventure

  1. Bonaventure (1946) Breviloquium, trans. Nemmers EE. Herder, St. LouisGoogle Scholar
  2. Bonaventure (1956) Itinerarium mentis in Deum, trans. Boehnwe P, OFM. Vol 2 of works of Saint Bonaventure, ed. Boehner P, Laughlin MF Sr, SMIC. The Franciscan Institute, St. BonaventureGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonaventure (1970) Collations on the six days, trans. de Vink J. Vol 5 of works of Saint Bonaventure. St. Anthony Guild, PatersonGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonaventure (1978) The tree of life in Bonaventure, trans. Cousins E. The classics of western spirituality. Paulist, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonaventure (1979) Disputed questions on the mystery of the trinity, trans. Hayes Z, OFM. Vol 3 of works of Saint Bonaventure, ed. Marcil G, OFM. The Franciscan Institute, St. BonaventureGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonaventure (1989) Christ the one teacher of all. What manner of man: Sermons on Christ by St. Bonavenutre, trans. Hayes Z, OFM. Franciscan Herald, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonaventure (1992) Disputed questions on the knowledge of Christ, trans. Hayes Z, OFM. Vol 4 of works of Saint Bonaventure, ed. Marcil G, OFM. The Franciscan Institute, St. BonaventureGoogle Scholar
  8. Bonaventure (1996) On the reduction of the arts to theology, trans. Hayes Z, OFM). Vol 1 of works of Saint Bonaventure, ed. Coughlin FE, OFM. The Franciscan Institute, St. BonaventureGoogle Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. MonographsGoogle Scholar
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  7. Quinn JF (1973) The historical constitution of St. Bonaventure’s philosophy. Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  8. Ratzinger J (1959) Die Geschichtstheologie des heiligen Bonaventura. Schnell & Steiner, München/ZürichGoogle Scholar
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Journal Articles

  1. Bougerol JG (1974) Dossier pour l’étude des rapports entre Bonaventure et Aristote. Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen age 31:135–222Google Scholar
  2. Crowley T (1974) St. Bonaventure chronology reappraisal. Franzisk Stud 310–322Google Scholar
  3. Doyle JP (1974) Saint Bonaventure and the ontological argument. Mod Schoolman, 27–48Google Scholar
  4. Robert P (1950) Le problème de la philosophie bonaventurienne. I. Aristotélisme platonisant ou augustinisme? LTP 6:145–163Google Scholar
  5. Robert P (1951) Le problème de la philosophie bonaventurienne. II. Discipline autonome ou héteronome? LTP 7:9–58Google Scholar
  6. Roch R (1959) The philosophy of St. Bonaventure – A controversy. Francisc Stud 19:209–226Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ReligionColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA