Works of St. Bonaventure: On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology: 1


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This international and interdisciplinary collection explores the romantic-historicist complexities at the root of the modern nation-state. Contributors are Ellinoor Bergvelt, Eveline G. The grand duchy of Luxembourg was created after the Napoleonic Wars, but at the time there was no 'nation' that identified with the emergent state.

This book analyses how politicians, scholars and artists have initiated and contributed to nation-building processes in Luxembourg since the nineteenth century, processes that — as this book argues — are still ongoing. The focus rests on three types of representations of nationhood: a shared past, a common homeland and a national language. History was written so as to justify the country's political independence.

Territorial borders shifted meaning, constantly repositioning the national community. The local dialect — initially considered German variant — was gradually transformed into the 'national language', Luxembourgish. Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement. Powered by: PubFactory. Sign in to annotate. In this case, the upright posture of the human person with head at the top stands as a symbol of the final destiny of humanity: loving union with God. Only when all the human, spiritual powers are in alignment with the divine truth, goodness, and power can the human person be said to be fully upright.

So it is that the third definition of rectitude elicits an awarness of the final end of humanity which is the concern of theology. Conclusion One cannot read Bonaventure for long without being deeply impressed by his exceptional power of synthesis. The case of the present text is an outstanding example. There is hardly a line or even a word in this text that appears superfluous. And the whole is shaped by theological convictions which have been hammered out over many years.

These are primarily of a trinitarian and a christological sort. If one takes into account his convictions concerning these premises and their relation to exemplaristic metaphysics, the central logic of this work becomes clear. And it is worked out here with remarkble consistency and coherence. These are the marks of the skillful systematic theologian.

Bonventure brings his work to a resounding conclusion with an epilogue that might well be seen as a charter for Christian spirituality and education. Everything that pertains to the world of God's creation is drawn into this remarkable vision. Nothing is left behind. All is taken up into the journey of the human spirit to deeper wisdom and into ever richer, loving union with the mystery of God whose goodness, truth, and beauty have been so richly poured out on the created world. The pursuit of knowledge and the cultivation of the intellectual life is not a goal in itself, but is best seen as a dimension of the human journey into God.

It is in this sense that theology is described as a practical science. In the first of his Collations on the Hexaemeron, Bonaventure shows in considerable detail how Christ is the center of all zacfwry 9lages, 0 JIM 34 things. Through his life, death, and resurrechon the created world has been restored to a wholeness lost by the Fall of Adam. The eternal Word is the principle through whom God creates all things. The incarnate Word is the Mediator through whom human beings are united to God in grace. The inspired Word is the principle by which we arrive at Christian wisdom, for in Christ are contained all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Whoever desires to return to God must return by and through the mystery of Christ. Viewed from this, perspective, the De reductione is the most compact statement of Bonaventure's vision to be found in the entire body of his writings. It is pre-eminently a Wisdom-theology. By this we mean that it unfolds a way not only of knowing but above all a way of living out the fullness of the human, spiritual journey into God. All knowledge and speculation is put into the service of the final goal of human life; namely, a transforming, mystical union with the mystery of divine love. We can read the De reductione as the answer to the third question of Bonaventure's metaphysics: How do things return to God?

By thus aligning all the human sciences in relation to the final goal of human life as revealed in the Scriptures, Bonaventure has prOVided a firm basis for describing the goal of all knowledge and intellectual culture in the following words: "that faith may be strengthened, God may be honored, character may be formed, and consolation may be derived from union of the Spouse with the beloved, a union which takes place through charity Omne datum optimum et omne donum petfeetum desursum est, deseendens a Patre luminum, Jacobus in Epistolae suae primo capitulo.

In hoc verbo tangitur origo omnis illuminationis, et simul cum hoc insinuatur multiplicis luminis ab illa fontali luce libera1is emanatio. Licet autem omnis illuminatio cognitionis intema sit, possumus tamen rationabiliter distinguere, ut dicamus, quod est lumen exterius, scilicet lumen artis mechanicae; lumen inferius, scilicet lumen cognitionis sensitivae; lumen interius, scilicet lumen cognitionis philosophicae; lumen superius, scilicet lumen gratiae et sacrae Scripturae.

Primum lumen illuminat respectu figurae artifieialis, secundum respectu formae naturalis, tertium respectu veritatis intelleetualis, quartum et ultimum respectu veritatis salutaris. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the God of Lights, writes James in the first chapter of his epistle. This text speaks of the source of all illumination; but at the same time, it suggests that there are many lights which flow generously from that fontal source of light. Even though every illumination of knowledge is internal, still we can reasonably distinguish what may be called an exterior light, or the light of mechanical art; an inferior light, or the light of sense perception; an interior light, or the light of philosophical knowledge; and a superior light, or the light of grace and of Sacred Scripture.

The first light illumines with respect to the forms of artifacts; the second, with respect to natural forms; the third, with respect to intellectual truth; the fourth and last, with respect to saving truth. Et illud septuplicatur secundum septem artes mechanicas, quas assignat Hugo in Didascalico, quae sunt scilicet lanificium, armatura, agricultura, venatio, navigatio, medicina, theatrica.

Quoniam omnis ars mechanica aut est ad solatium, aut ad eommodum; sive aut est ad excludendam tristitiam, aut indigentiam; sive aut prodest, aut deleetat, secundum illud Horatii: 2. So the first light, which sheds its light on the forms of artifacts - things which are, as it were, external to the human person and intended to supply the needs of the body - is called the light of mechanical art.

Since this is, in a certain sense, servile and of a lower nature than philosophical knowledge, this light can rightly be called exterior. It is divided into seven, corresponding to the seven mechanical arts listed by Hugh in his Didasealieon, namely, weaving, armour-mak- Aut prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetae. Etiterum: Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci. That the above-mentioned arts are sufficient is shown in the following way. Every mechanical art is intended either for our consolation or for our comfort; its purpose, therefore, is to banish either sorrow or need; it is either useful or enjoyable, according to the words of Horace: Poets desire either to be useful or to please.

And again: One who combines the useful with the delightful wins universal applause. Si est ad solatium et delectationem, sic est theatriea, quae est ars ludorum, omnem modurn ludendi continens, sive sit in cantibus, sive in organis, sive in figmentis, sive in gesticulationibus corporis. This embraces every form of entertainment, including song, instrumental music, poetry, or pantomime.

If, how- 38 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam ad commodum sive profectum secundum exteriorem hominem, hoc potest esse aut quantum ad uperimentum, aut quantum ad alimentum, aut quantum ad utriusque adminiculum. Si vero iuvat quantum ad cibum, hoc potest esse dupliciter: quia dbamur vegetabilibus, aut sensibilibus. Si quantum ad vegetabilia, sic est agricultura; si quantum ad sensibilia, sic est venatio. Vel aliter: si iuvat quantum ad cibum, hoc potest esse dupliciter: aut iuvat quantum ad ciborum genituram et multiplicationem, et tunc est agricultura; aut quantum ad dbi multiplicem praeparationem, et sic est venatio, quae continet omne genus praeparandi cibos et potus et sapores, quod pertinet ad pistores, coquos et caupones.

Oenominatur autem ab unius parte solum propter quandam excellentiam et curialitatem. Et sic patet sufficientia. Secundum lumen, quod illuminat nos ad fonnas naturales apprehendendas, est lumen cognitionis sensifivae, quod recte dicitur inferius, quia cognitio sensitiva ab inferiori incipit et fit beneficio lucis corporalis. Et hoc quintuplicatur secundum quinque sensus. If it is a matter of shelter, it will be concerned either with something of a soft and light material, in which case it is weaving; or with something of a strong and hard material, in which case it is armour-making or metal-working, an art which includes the production of every instrument made of iron or of any other metal, or of stone or wood.

If a mechanical art is helpful with respect to food, this can be in two ways, for we take our nourishment from vegetables and from animals. If it is concerned with vegetables, it is farming; if it is concerned with animals, it is hunting. Or again, a mechanical art can be useful in two ways with respect to food. Either it can aid in the production and multiplication of crops, in which case it is agriculture; or it can aid in the various ways of preparing food.

Viewed in this way, it is hunting, an art which includes every conceivable way of preparing foods, drinks, and delicacies. This is the task of bakers, cooks, and innkeepers. It is named from only one of these activities, and that because of its nobility and courtly character. If it is an aid in acquiring either shelter or food, this may be in. Either it serves to fill a need, in which case it is navigation, an art which includes all forms of commerce in articles intended for shelter or for food; or it serves by removing impediments and ills of the body, in which case it is medicine, whether it is concerned with the preparation of drugs, potions, or ointments, with the healing of wounds, or with the amputation of members.

In this latter case it is called surgery. Oramaticart, on the other hand, is the only one of its kind. Thus the sufficiency of the mechanical arts is evident. The second light, which provides light for the apprehension of natural forms, is the light of sense knowledge. This is rightly called the inferior light because sense perception begins with an inferior Object and takes place by the aid of corporal light.

It has five divisions Corresponding to the five senses. In the third book of his work On Genesis, Saint Augustine bases the adequacy of the senses on the nature of the light present in the elements in the following way. If the light or brightness which is responsible for the distinction of corporal things exists in its own perfection and in a certain purity, this pertains to the sense of 40 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam gustus; aut terrae grossitiei, et sic est tactus.

Spiritus enim sensibilis naturam luminis habet, unde in nervis viget, quorum natura est clara et pervia; et in istis quinque sensibus multiplicatur secundum maiorem et minorem depurationem. Itaque cum quinque sint corpora mundi simplicia, scilicet quatuor elementa et quinta essentia; ut homo orones formas corporeas posset percipere, quinque sensus habet illis correspondentes; quia nulla fit apprehensio nisi per aliquam similitudinem et convenientiam organi et obiecti, pro eo quod sensus est natura determinata.

Est et alius modus sumendi sufficientiam sensuum, sed hunc approbat Augustinus, et rationabilis videtur, quia ad hanc sufficientiam simul concurrunt correspondentia ex parte organi, medii et obiecti. On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 41 sight; if it is mixed with the air, it pertains to hearing; if with vapor, it pertains to smell; if with fluid, it pertains to taste; if with the solidity of earth, it pertains to touch.

Now since the sensitive spirit partakes of the nature of light, it thrives in the nerves, whose nature it is to be clear and penetrable; and this light is received in these five senses according to the greater or lesser degree of its purity. And so, since there are five simple corporal substances in the world, namely, the four elements and the fifth essence, the human person has five senses that correspond to these so that the person might be able to perceive all bodily forms; since, because of the well-defined nature of each sense, no apprehension would be possible without a certain similarity and correspondence between the sense-organ and the object.

There is another way of determining the adequacy of the senses, but Augustine approves this method; and it seems reasonable, because of the simultaneous corre- spondence of the elements on the part of the organ, the medium, and the object. Tertium lumen, quod illuminat ad veritates intelligibiles perscrutandas, est lumen cognitionis philosophicae, quod ideo interius dicitur, quia interiores causas et latentes inquirit, et hoc per principia disciplinarum et veritatis naturalis, quae homini naturaliter sunt inserta.

Et hoc triplicatur in rationalem, naturalem, et moralem. Est enim veritas sennonum, veritas reTUm et veritas morum. Rationalis veritatem sermonum considerat, naturalis veritatem rerum, moralis veritatern, morum. Tertio modo sic: quia lumen cognitionis philosophicae illuminat ipsam intellectivam; hoc autem potest esse tripliciter: aut in quantum regit motivam, et sic est moralis; aut in quantum regit se ipsam, et sic est naturalis; aut in quantum regit interpretativam, et sic est sermocinalis; ut sic illuminetur homo ad veritatem vitae, ad veritatem scientiae et ad veritatem doctrinae.

The third light, which enlightens the human person in the investigation of intelligible truths, is the light of philosophical knowledge. It is called interior because it inquires into inner and hidden causes through principles of learning and natural truth, which are connatural to the human mind. There is a threefold division of this light into rational, natural, and moral philosophy.

That this is sufficient can be understood in the following way. There is the truth of speech, the truth of things, and the truth of morals. Rational philosophy considers the truth of speech; natural philosophy, the truth of things; and moral philosophy, the truth of conduct. We may look at this in a different way. Just as we find in the most high God efficient, formal or exemplary, and final causality, since "God is the cause of being, the principle of intelligibility, and the order of human life," so we may find these in the illumination of philosophy, which enlightens the mind to discern the causes of being, in which case it is physics; or to know the principles of understanding, in which case it is logic; or to learn the order of living, in which case it is moral or practical philosophy.

This issue may be viewed in yet a third way. The light of philosophical knowledge illumines the intellect itself and this enlightenment may be threefold: if it directs the motive power, it is moral philosophy; if it directs itself, it is natural philosophy; if it directs the interpretive power, it is discursive philosophy. As a result, hu- 42 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam Et quoniam tripliciter potest a1iquis per sennonem exprimere quod habet apud se, ut scilicet notuffi faciat mentis suae conceptum, vel ut amplius moveat ad credendum, vel ut moveat ad amorem, vel odium: ideo sermocinalis sive rationalis philosophia triplicatur, scilicet in grammaticam, logicam et rhetoricam; quarum prima est ad exprimendum, secunda ad docendum, tertia ad movendum.

Prima respicit rationem ut apprehensivam; secunda, ut iudicativam; tertia, ut motivam. Et quia ratio apprehendit per sermonem congruum, iudicat per verum, movet per sermonem omatum: hinc est, quod haec triplex scientia has tres passiones circa' sermonem considerat. Rursus, quoniam intellectus noster dirigi habet in iudicando secundum rationes fonnales, et hae tripliciter possunt considerari: vel in comparatione ad materiam, et sic dicuntur rationes formales; vel in comparatione ad animam, et sic intellectuales; vel in comparatione ad divinam sapientiam, et sic ideales: ideo naturalis philosophia triplicatur in physicam proprie dictam, in mathematicam et in metaphysicam; ita quod physica consideratio est circa rerum generationem et corruptionem secundum virtutes naturales et rationes seminales; mathematica est circa considerationem forrnarum abstrahibilium secundum rationes intelligibiles; metaphysica, circa cognitionem omnium entium, quae reducit ad unum primum principium, a quo exierunt secundum rationes ideales, sive ad Deum in quantum principium finis, et exemplar; licet inter metaphysicos de huiusmodi rationibus idealibus nonnulla fuerit controversia.

Postremo, quia regimen virtutis motivae tripliciter habet attendi, scilicet respectu vitae propriae, respectu familiae et respectu multitudinis subiectae; ideo moralis philosophia triplicatur, scilicet in monasticam, oeconomicam et politicam; quae distinguuntur secundum triplicem modum praedictum, sicut apparet ex ipsis nominibus. Quartum autem lumen, quod illuminat ad veritatem salutarem, est lumen sacrae Scripturae, quod ideo dicitur superius, quia ad superiora ducit manifestando quae sunt supra rationem, et etiam quia non per inventionem, sed per inspirationem a Patre luminum descendit.

Sibns: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

The Mysticism of St. Bonaventure: Mind's Road To God

Of these sciences the first is concerned with expressing; the second with teaching; the third with persuading. The first considers reason as apprehending; the second, as judging; the third, as persuading. Since reason apprehends through appropriate speech, judges through true speech, and persuades through eloquent speech, it is appropriate that these three sciences consider these three qualities in speech.

Again, since our intellect must be guided by formal principles in making a judgment, these principles, in tum, can be viewed from three perspectives: in relation to matter, they are called formal; in relation to the mind, they are called intellectual; and in relation to divine wisdom, they are called ideal. However, there has been some controversy among the metaphysicians concerning these ideal causes. Since the direction of the motive power is to be considered in a threefold way, namely, as regards the life of the individual, the family, and the state, so there is a threefold division of moral philosophy corresponding to this: namely, personal, domestic, and political, the meaning of which is clear from the very names used to deSignate them, 5.

Now the fourth light, which provides illumination with respect to saving truth, is the light of sacred Scripture. This light is called superior because it leads to higher things by revealing truths which transcend reason, and also because it is not acquired by human research, but comes down from the "God of Lights" by inspiration. While 44 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam tamen triplex secundum sensum mysticum et spiritualem. In omnibus enim sacrae Scripturae libris praeter litteralem sensum, quem exterius verba sonant, concipitur triplex sensus spiritualis, scilicet allegoricus, quo docemur, quid sit credendum de Divinitate et humanitate; moralis, quo docemur, quomodo vivendum sit; et anagogicus, quo docemur qualiter est Deo adhaerendum.

Unde tota sacra Scriptura haec tria docet, scilicet Christi aeternam generationem et incarnationem, vivendi ordinem et Dei et animae unionem. Primum respicit fidem, secundum mores, tertium finem utriusque.

Circa primum insudare debet studium doctorum, circa secundum studium praedicatorum, circa ter- tium studium contemplativorum. Primum maxime docetAugustinus, secundum maxime docet Gregorius, tertius vero docet Dionysius Anselmus sequitur Augustinum, Bernardus sequitur Gregorium, Richardus sequitur Dionysium, quia Anselmus in ratiocinatione, Bernardus in praedicatione, Richardus in contemplatione; Hugo vero omnia haec. Therefore, the whole of sacred Scripture teaches these three truths: namely, the eternal generation and incarnation of Christ, the pattern of human life, and the union of the soul with God.

The first is concerned with faith; the second with morals; and the third with the ultimate goal Of both.

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The first is taught chiefly by Augustine; the second, by Gregory; the third, by Dionysius. For Anselm excels in reasoning; Bernard, in preaching; Richard, in contemplation. But Hugh excels in all three. Ex praedictis colligitur, quod licet ex primaria divisione quadruplex sit lumen desursum descendens; sunt tamen sex eius differentiae: scilicet lumen sacrae Scripturae, lumen cognitionis sensitivae, lumen artis mechanicae, lumen philosophiae rationalis, lumen philosophiae naturalis et lumen philosophiae moralis.

Et ideo sex illuminationes sunt in vita ista et habent vesperam, quia omnis scientia destruetur; et ideo succedit eis septima dies requietionis, quae vesperam non habet, scilicet illuminatio gloriae. Therefore, in the present life there are six illuminations; and they have their evening, for all knowledge will be destroyed. And therefore they will be followed by a seventh day of rest, a day which knows no evening, namely, the illumination ofglory. Unde valde apte possunt reduci sex istae illuminationes ad senarium formationum sive illuminationum, in quibus factus est mundus, ut cognitio sacrae SCripturae primae formationi, scilicet formationi lucis, respondeat; et sic deinceps per ordinem.

Unde omnis nostra cognitio in cognitione sacrae Scripturae debet habere statum, et maxime quantum ad intellectum anagogiae, per 7.


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Therefore, these six illuminations may very fittingly be traced back to the six days of formation or illumination in which the world was made, so that the knowledge of sacred Scripture would correspond to the creation of the first day, that is, to the formation of light, and so on with the rest, one after the other in proper order. And as all those lights had their origin in a single light, so too all these branches of knowledge are ordered to the knowledge of sacred Scripture; they are contained in it; they are perfected by it; and they are ordered to the eternal illumination by means of it.

Et ideo ibi completus est circulus, completus est senarit:S, et propterea status. And there. Videamus igitur, qualiter aliae iIluminationes cognitionum reduci habent ad lumen sacrae Scripturae. Et primo videamus in illuminatione cognitionis sensitivae, quae tota versatur circa cognitionem sensibilium, ubi tria est considerare: cognoscendi medium, cognoscendi exercitium, cognoscendi oblectamentum. Nullum enim sensibile movet potentiam cognitivam, nisi mediante similitudine, quae egreditur ab obiecto, sicut proles a parente; et hoc generaliter, realiter, vel exemplariter eS.

Illa autem similitudo non tacit completionem m actu sentiend" 8. Let us see, therefore, how the other illuminations of knowledge are to be traced back to the light of sacred Scripture. First, let us consider the illumination of sense knowledge, which is concerned exclusively with the knowledge of sensible objects.

Here there are three elements to be considered: namely, the medium of knowledge, the exercise of knowledge, and the delight of knowledge. Indeed, no sense object can stimulate the cognitive faculty except by means of a similitude which proceeds from the object as a child proceeds from its parent. And this procession by generation, whether in reality or in terms of exemplarity, is necessary for each of the senses. This similitude, however, does not complete the act of sense perception unless it is brought into contact with the sense organ and the sense faculty, and once that contact is established, there results a new perception.

Through this perception the mind is led back to the object by means of that similitude. And even though the object is not always present to the senses, still it is the nature of the object that it always begets a similitude since this pertains to the fullness of its nature. In a similar way, understand that from the supreme Mind, which can be known by the inner senses of our mind, from all eternity there has emanated a Similitude, an Image, and an Offspring; and afterwards, when "the fulness of time came," He was united as never before to a mind and to flesh and assumed a human form.

Through Him all Our minds are led back to God when, through faith, we receive the Similitude of the Father into our hearts. Et licet non semper obiectum sentiatur, semper tamen, quantum est de se, gignit similitudinem, cum est in sua completione. Si vero consideremus sensum exercitium, intuebimur ibi ordinem vivendi.

Unusquisque enim sensus se exercet circa proprium obiectum, refugit sibi nocivum et non usurpat alienum. If we now consider the exercise of sense knowledge, we shall see in it the pattern of human life, for each sense acts in relation to its proper object, shrinks from what may harm it, and does not claim what is foreign to it. In the same way, the inner sense lives in an orderly way when it acts in reference to that which is proper to its nature, thus avoiding negligence; when it refrains from what is harmful, thus avoid- 48 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 49 Omnis enim inordinatio aut venit ex negligentia, aut ex concupiscentia, aut ex superbia.

Ille enim ordinate vivit, qui vivit prudenter, temperanter et obtemperanter, ut refugiat negligentiam in operabilibus, concupiscentiam in appetibilibus, superbiam in excellentibus. For every disorder springs from negligence, from concupiscence, or from pride. Surely then, a person who lives a prudent, temperate, and obedient life leads a well-ordered life; for in this way such a person avoids negligence with respect to things that ought to be done; concupiscence with respect to objects of desire; and pride with respect to matters of excellence.

Si autem consideremus oblectamentum, intuebimur Dei et animae unionem.. Omnis enim sensus suum sensibile conveniens quaerit cum desiderio, invenit cum gaudio, repetit sine fastidio, quia non satiatur oculus visu, nec auris auditu impletur. Furthermore, if we consider the delight of sense knowledge, we shall see here the urtion of the soul with God.

Indeed every sense seeks its proper sense object with longing, finds it with delight, and Per hunc modum est reperire in iIluminatione artis mechanicae, cuius tota intentio versatur circa artificialium productionem. In qua ista tria possumus intueri, scilicet Verbi generationem et incarnationem, vivendi ordinem et Dei et animae foederationem.

Et hoc, si consideremus egressum, efiectum et fructum; vel sic: artem operandi, qualitatem effecti artificii et utilitatem fructus eliciti. Si consideremus egressum, videbimus, quod effectus artificialis exit ab artifice, mediante similitudine existente in mente; per quam artifex excogitat, antequam pro ducat, et inde producit, sicut disposuit.

Producit autem artifex exterius opus assimilatum exemplari interiori eatenus, qua potest metius; et si talem effectum posset producere, qui ipsurn amaret et cognosceret, utique faceret; et si effectus ille cognosceret suum opificem, hoc esset mediante similitudine, secundum quam ab artifice processit; et si haberet obtenebratos oculos cognitionis, ut non posset supra se elevari, necesse esset ad hoc, ut ad never wearied, seeks it again and again, because "the eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.

Behold how the divine wisdom lies hidden in sense knowledge and how wonderful is the contemplation of the five spiritual senses in the light of their conformity to the bodily senses. In the same way divine wisdom may be found in the illu- mination of the mechanical arts, the sole purpose of which is the production of artifacts. In this illumination we can see the same three truths; namely, the generation and incarnation of the Word, the pattern of human life, and the union of the soul with God.

And this is true if we consider the production, the effect, and the fruit of a work; or if we consider the skill of the artist, the quality of the effect produced, and the usefulness of the product that results. If we consider the production, we shall see that the work of art proceeds from the artisan according to a similitude that exists in the mind. The artisan studies this pattern or model carefully before producing the artifact and then produces the object as planned.

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Moreover the artisan produces an external work bearing the closest possible resemblance to the interior exemplar. And if it were possible to produce an effect which could know and love the artisan, the artisan would certainly do this. And if that effect could know its maker, this would be by means of the similitude according to which it came from 50 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 51 cognitionem sui opifids duceretur, quod similitudo, per quam productus esset effectus, condescenderet usque ad i1larn naturam, quae ab eo posset capi et cognosci.

Et quoniam per peccatum rationalis creatura oculum contemplationis obnubilatum habuit; decentissimum fuit, ut aeternum et invisibile fieret visibile et assumeret carnem, ut nos ad Patrem reduceret. Et hoc est quod dicitur Ioannis decimo quarto: Nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me; et Matthaei undecimo: Patrem nemo novit nisi Filius, et cui voluerit Filius revelare.

Et ideo dicitur Verbum caro factum. Considerantes igitur illuminationem artis mechanicae quantum ad operis egressus, intuebimur ibi Verbum generatum et incarnatum, id est Divinitatem et humanitatem et totius fidei integritatem. And if the eyes of its understanding were so darkened that it could not be elevated above itself in order to come to a knowledge of its maker, it would be necessary for the similitude according to which the effect was produced to lower itself to that sort of nature which the effect could grasp and know.

In like manner, understand that no creature has proceeded from the most high Creator except through the eternal Word, "in whom God has disposed all things," and by which Word God has produced creatures bearing not only the. And since by sin the rational creature had dimmed the eye of contemplation, it was most fitting that the eternal and invisible should become visible and assume flesh in order to lead us back to God.

Indeed, this is what is related in the fourteenth chapter of Saint John: "No one comes to the Father but through me," and in the eleventh chapter of Saint Matthew: "No one knows the Son except the Father; nOr does anyone know the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Si vero consideremus effectum, intuebimur vivendi ordinem. Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile; et tunc est carum et acceptabile opus, cum habet istas tres conditiones.

Iuxta haec tria necesse est reperiri tria in ordine vivendi, scilicet "scire, velie et impermutabiliter sive perseveranter operari. Primum est in rationali, secundum in concupiscibili, tertium in irascibili. It is necessary to find three parallel elements in the pattern of life: "to know, to will, and to work constantly with perseverance. The first resides in the rational, the second in the concupiscible, and the third in the irascible appetite. Si consideremus fructum, inveniemus Dei et animae unionem.

Omnis enim artifex, qui aliquod opus facit, aut facit, ut per ilIud laudetur, aut ut per ilIud sibi aliquid operetur vellucretur, aut ut in ilIo delectetur, secundum tria, quae sunt in appetibilibus, scilicet bonum hones tum, conferens et delectabile. Propter haec tria fecit Deus animam rationalem, ut ipsa eum laudaret, ut ipsa illi serviret, ut ipsa in eo If we consider the fruit, we shall find there the union Of the soul with God, for every artisan who fashions a work does so in order to derive praise, benefit, or delight from it - a threefold purpose which corresponds to the three formal objects of the appetites: namely, a noble good, a useful good, and an agreeable good.

It was for these three reasons that God made the soul rational, namely, that of its own accord, it 52 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam delectaretur et quiesceret; et hoc est per caritatem, in qua qui manet in Deo manet, et Deus in eo, ita quod est ibi quaedam mirabilis unio et ex unione mirabilis delectatio; quoniam, secundum quod dicitur in Proverbiis, deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum. Ecce, quomodo illuminatio artis mechanicae via est ad illuminationem sacrae Scripturae, et nihil est in ea, quod non praedicet veram sapientiam, et ideo sacra Scriptura frequenter taIibus similitudinibus utitur satis recte.

Iuxta hunc etiam modum est reperire in illuminatione rationalis philosophiae, cuius principalis intentio versatur circa sennonem. In quo est tria considerare secundum triplicem ipsius sermonis considerationem, scilicet respectu proferentis, ratione prolationis et respectu audientis sive ratione finis. Si sermonem consideremus in respectu ad loquentem, sic videmus, quod omnls sermo significat mentis conceptum, et iIle conceptus interior est verbum mentis et eius proles, quae nota est etiam ipsi concipienti.

The six forms of Light unified in the unique divine creation

Sed ad hoc, quod fiat nota audienti induit formam vocis, et verbum intelligibile mediante iIlo indumento fit sensibile et auditur exterius et suscipitur in aure cordis audientis, et tamen non recedit a mente proferentis. Sed ad hoc, quod homini sensuaIi fieret cognoscibile, induit formam camis, et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis, et tamen remansit in sinu Patris. On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 53 might praise God, serve God, find delight in God, and be at rest; and this takes place through charity.

There is nothing there which does not manifest true wisdom, and for this reason sacred Scripture quite rightly makes frequent use of such similitudes. In a similar way divine wisdom is to be found in the illumination of rational philosophy whose principal concern is speech. Here three elements are to be considered which correspond to three aspects of speech itself: namely, the person speaking, the delivery of the speech, and the hearer or the goal.

Considering speech in relation to the speaker, we see that all speech signifies a mental concept. That inner concept is the word of the mind and its offspring which is known to the person conceiving it. But in order that this concept may become known to the hearer, it assumes the form of the voice; and by means of this clothing, the intelligibile word becomes sensible and is heard externally. It is received into the ear of listener and yet does not depart from the mind of the person uttering it. It is something like this that we see in the Eternal Word.

God conceived the Word by an eternal act of generation, as it is written in the eighth chapter of the Book of Proverbs, "The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived.

St. Bonaventure, On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology (Part 1) – The Classical Thistle

Si vero consideremus sermonem ratione sui, sic intuebimur in eo ordinem vivendi. Ad complementum enim sermonis necessario ista tria concurrunt, scilicet congruitas, veritas, et omatus. Tunc enim recte et ordinate vivitur, cum est intentio recta, affectio munda et Considering speech in the light of its delivery, we shall see there the pattern of human life, for three essential qualities work together for the perfection of speech: namely, fittingness, truth, and style.

Corresponding to these three qualities, all acts of ours should be characterized by measure, beauty, and order so that they may be measured by reason of modesty in external works, rendered beautiful by purity of affection, and ordered and adorned by uprightness of intention. For 54 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam operatio modesta. Et hinc est, quod "cathedram habet in caelo qUl intus corda docet.

On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 55 then truly does one live an upright and well-ordered life when one's intention is upright, one's affection pure, and one's activity within its proper limit. If we consider speech in relation to its purpose, we find that to persuade. But it never expresses except by means of a likeness; it never teaches except by means of a convincing light; it never persuades except by power; and it is evident that these effects are accomplished only by means of an inherent likeness, light, and power intrinsically united to the soul.

Therefore, Augustine concludes that the only true teacher is one who can impress a likeness, infuse light, and grant power to the heart of the hearer. Hence it is that "the one who teaches within hearts has a chair in heaven. Secundum etiam hunc modum est reperire in illuminatione naturali philosophiae, cuius. Quas tripliciter contingit considerare, scilicet secundum hab. By the same line of reasoning the wisdom of God is to be found in the illumination of natural philosophy, which is concerned chiefly with the formal principles in matter, in the soul, and in the divine wisdom.

These should be considered from three perspectives: namely, as regards the relation of proportion, the effect of causality, and the medium of union. And in these three can be found the three concerns mentioned above. Si consideremus eas secundum habitudinem proportionis, videbimus in eis Verbum aetemuin et Verbum incarnatum. Rationes intellectuales et abstractae quasi mediae sunt inter seminales et ideales.

If we consider the formal principles in terms of their relation of proportion, we shall see there the Word Eternal and the Word Incarnate. The intellectual and abstract principles are, as it were, midway between the seminal and the ideal principles. But seminal principles cannot exist in matter without generation and the production of form; neither can intellectual principles exist in the soul without the generation of a word in the mind. Therefore, ideal principles cannot exist in God without the generation of the Word from the Father in due proportion.

Propter quod dixit Augustinus, quod Filius Dei est" ars Palris ". On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 57 Truly, this is a mark of dignity; and if it is true of the creature, how much more so must it be true of the Creator. This is the reason why Augustine said that the Son of God is the "art of the Father. By similar reasoning, therefore, we come to the conclusion that the highest and noblest perfection cannot exist in this world unless that nature in which the seminal principles are present, and that nature in which the intellectual principles are present, and that nature in which the ideal principles are present are simultaneously brought together in the unity of one person, as was done in the incarnation of the Son of God.

Therefore all natural philosophy, by reason of the relation of proportion, presupposes the Word of God as begotten and incarnate, the Alpha and the Omega, that is, begotten in the beginning before all time, and incarnate in the fulness oftime. Unde ordo vivendi pendet in tribus. Now if we consider these causes according to the effect of causality, we shall be considering the pattern ofhuman life, since generation by means of seminal principles cannot take place in generative and corruptible matter except by the beneficial action of the light of those heavenly bodies that are most remote from generation and corruption; namely, the sun, the moon, and the stars.

So too the soul can perform no living works unless it receive from the sun, that is, from Christ, the gift of a gratuitous light; unless it seek the protection of the moon, that is, of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ; and unless it imitate the example of the other saints. When all these concur, a living and perfect work is accomplished in the soul. Therefore the right brder of living depends on these three influences.

Nam natura corporalis animae non potest uniri, nisi mediante humore, mediante spiritu et mediante calore, quae tria disponunt carnem, ut vitam suscipiat ab anima. Moreover, if we consider these causes with respect to the medium of union, we shall understand how the union of the soul with God takes place, for the corporal nature can be united to the soul only through the medium of moisture, breath, and warmth: three conditions which dispose the flesh to receive life from the soul.

So too we may understand that God gives life to the soul and is united to it only on the condition that it be moistened with tears of compunction and filial love, that it be made spiritual by contempt of every earthly thing, 58 De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology 59 Penes modos praedictos est reperire in illuminatione philosophiae moralis lumen sacrae Scripturae: quoniam intentio moralis philosophiae principaliter versatur circa rectitudinem; versatur enirn circa iustitiam generalem, quae, ut dicit Anselmus, lIest rectitudo voluntatis.

Uno modo dicitur I'rectum, cuius medium non exit ab extremis. Necesse est etiam ponere medium in egressu et regressu rerum; sed medium in egressu necesse est, quod plus teneat se a parte producentis, medium vero in regressu, plus a parte redeuntis; sieut ergo res exierunt a Deo per Verbum Dei, sic ad completum reditum necesse est, Mediatorem Dei et hominum non tantum Deum esse, sed etiam hominem, uthomines reducat ad Deum. Behold how the wisdom of God lies hidden in natural philosophy. Alio modo dicitur reclum quod dirigenti se conformatur. Et secundum hoc in consideratione rectitudinis conspicitur ordo vivendi.

Bonaventure, St. (c. 1217–1274)

IlIe enim recte vivit, qui dirigitur secundum regulas iuris divini. Et hoc est, quando voluntas hominis assentit praeceplis necessariis, monitis salutiferis, consiliis perfectis, ut probet homo, quae sit volunlas Dei bona et beneplacens el perfecta. Et tunc est rectus ordo vivendi, in quo nulla obliquitas potest reperiri. In anolher sense, that is called righl which is conformed to that by which it is ruled. Accordingly, when rectitude is viewed from this perspective, the rule of life is discerned.

For that person indeed lives rightly who is guided by the regulations of the divine law. Among the items listed as theological errors in the second of these condemnations, for example, are such statements as. In the face of such views, it is understandable why Bonaventure, who believed in the validity of Christian revelation, should have stressed the inability of philosophers in general and of Aristotle in particular to learn the full truth about man's existential situation. Conversely, Bonaventure tried to show the continuity between the aims of philosophy and those of theology.

He maintained that philosophy has a genuine, albeit limited, autonomy; the knowledge it yields is a stage in the overall ascent of the human mind to true wisdom, the culmination of which in this life is found in quasi-experiential knowledge of God, achieved by such mystics as Francis of Assisi. Part of the great literary charm of Bonaventure's style is his ability to play upon words.

Throughout his later works, particularly his sermons and Collationes , he continually gives a deliberately theological twist to technical philosophic terms, with the result that he has frequently been unjustly accused of confusing theology with philosophy either in principle or in practice. The truth of the matter is that while he was eminently able to conduct a purely philosophical discussion and often did so in his university lectures, he preferred to limit himself to particular topics.

He never formed a complete system from his philosophical analyses, but he put them into the service of his overall theological synthesis. Bonaventure's linguistic sophistication and his idea of the continuity between philosophy and theology are perhaps best represented in his discussion of metaphysics in the In Hexaemeron. Christ, the Son of God, not Aristotle, is the "metaphysician" par excellence.

And this is the whole of our metaphysics: it concerns emanation, exemplarity, and consummation [that is, being illumined by spiritual rays and led back to the All High]. It is in this way you become a true metaphysician. Collatio I, No. Bonaventure uses the term emanation to designate the general theory of how creation proceeds from God. Bonaventure, however, wished to reconcile "emanation" with Christian theology. His counterthesis is summarized in the Breviloquium : "The whole of the cosmic machine was produced in time and from nothing, by one principle only who is supreme and whose power, though immense, still arranges all according to a certain weight, number and measure" Book II, Part 1, in Opera , Vol.

It is to be noted that he rejects the concepts of the eternity of the world, of the eternity of matter, of a dual principle of good and evil, and of the existence of intermediary causes. His description of the supreme principle implies that a perfect power must be free to create varying degrees of perfection, in contrast with the Arab belief that direct creation by a perfect power could only result in perfect effects. Also, the use of Augustine's triad of weight, number, and measure suggests the seal of the Blessed Trinity stamped on every creature.

This becomes clearer if we consider the next and most characteristic feature of Bonaventure's metaphysics. Emanation concerns natural philosophy as much as metaphysics. God, as final cause and ultimate goal of man's quest for happiness, is the concern of the moral philosopher as well as the metaphysician. But only the metaphysician can understand God as exemplar cause. And it is in analyzing this aspect of the science of causes and first principles that man is most truly a metaphysician.

Though this metaphysical pursuit begins with reason, it can be successfully terminated only by a person with faith. Comparing the two greatest pagan philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, Bonaventure maintained that Plato, the master of wisdom, erred in looking only upward to the realm of eternal values, of the immutable ideas, while Aristotle, the master of natural science, looked only earthward to the everyday sensible world that Plato neglected.

But Aristotle's was the greater sin, for in rejecting the Platonic ideas in toto, he closed the door to a full understanding of the universe in terms of its causes. As a Christian he could complete what Plato could only begin. Not only did he demonstrate that Plato's archetypal Ideas are the exemplar causes or models that God used in creating the universe, a point that a philosopher alone could establish, but he also showed further that these Ideas are associated in a special way with the second person of the Trinity , an insight only divine revelation could help one discover.

Bonaventure, following Augustine, explained that since the Father begets the Son by an eternal act of self-knowledge, the Son may also be called the wisdom of the Father and expresses in his person all of God's creative possibilities. As such, the Son is the Word or Logos adumbrated in the writings of the philosophers but fully revealed only at the beginning of the Gospel of John, where he appears as the one through whom all things are made that is, as exemplar cause and who "enlightens every man who comes into the world" an allusion to Augustine's theory that only some illumination by divine ideas can account for man's knowing immutable truths.

Averroes had written of Aristotle: "I believe this man to be nature's model, the exemplar which nature found to reveal the ultimate in human perfection" De Anima III, 2. Bonaventure maintained that Christ, not Aristotle, is God's model for humanity. The Word is not only God but also a perfect man.

He gives us "the power of becoming the sons of God," and he is the "one master of all the sciences" Sermo IV ; in Opera , Vol. Bonaventure held that Plato's theory of Ideas was a first philosophical approximation to this theological insight, and Aristotle's rejection of this view led to his errors about God. For if God lacked the exemplar ideas, he would know only himself and nothing of the world. He would be, as Aristotle claimed, related to the world only as final cause and not as creator.

Moreover, in Aristotle's world, since chance clearly does not explain the cyclic changes of the cosmos, the universe must be ruled by determinism, as the Arabic commentators claim. But then man would no longer be a responsible agent; he would deserve neither reward nor punishment, and divine providence would be a myth. With the recognition of exemplarism, on the other hand, the whole of creation takes on a sacramental character — that is, it becomes a material means of bringing the soul to God.

Nature becomes the "mirror of God," reflecting his perfections in varying degrees. Although we see only a shadowy likeness umbra or trace vestigium of the creator in inorganic substances and the lower forms of life, the soul of man is God's image imago and the angel his similitude similitudo.

The recognition of God in nature begins in philosophy, but it is continued and perfected in theology. In De Mysterio Trinitatis Bonaventure argued that philosophers know that secondary beings imply a first; dependent beings imply an independent being; contingent things imply some necessary being; the relative implies an absolute; the imperfect, something perfect; Plato's participated beings imply one unparticipated being; if there are potential beings, then pure act must also exist; composite things imply the existence of something simple; the changeable can only coexist with the unchangeable.

Pagan philosophers, knowing that these ten self-evident conditionals have their antecedents verified in the corporeal world, learned much about God De Mysterio Trinitatis I, 1; in Opera , Vol. V, pp. More can be learned, however, by the soul reflecting upon itself. In his other works Bonaventure went on to suggest that the soul, possessed of memory, intelligence, and will, is an image of God, not only mirroring his spiritual nature but adumbrating the Trinity itself.

Memory, which creates its own thought objects, resembles the Father who begets the Son or Logos intelligence as an intellectual reflection of himself, and the two through their mutual love will — the active principle of "spiration" breathe forth the Holy Spirit. But although a philosopher can discover a spiritual God as the ultimate object of the soul's search for truth and happiness, only a man of faith like Augustine can find the Trinity manifest throughout creation. The third aspect of Bonaventure's metaphysics concerns a creature's fulfillment of its destiny by returning to God.

This return called technically a reductio in the case of the lower creation is achieved in and through man who praises God for and through subhuman creation. Man's return is made possible in turn by Christ. For man returns to God by living an upright life — that is, by being rightly aligned with God — and this can be accomplished only through the grace of Christ. Man's mind is right rectus when it has found truth, and above all, eternal truth. His will is right when it loves what is really good, his exercise of power is right when it is a continuation of God's ruling power.

Through original sin or the Fall , man lost this triple righteousness. His intellect, lured by vain curiosity, has enmeshed itself in interminable doubts and futile controversies; his will is ruled by greed and concupiscence; in his exercise of power he seeks autonomy. But although man lost the state of original justice, he still hungers for it. This longing for the infinite good is revealed in his ceaseless quest for pleasures.

Through faith and love grace , man can find his way back.

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