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Bonaventure’s Angelology

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Chapter Summary

Thirteenth-century Europe was filled with angels, and Bonaventure deeply desired to understand as much as possible about these ministering spirits. This chapter examines the contexts and content of the Seraphic Doctor's angelology. It describes the ambient angelology of Bonaventure's era, the many ways in which angels were present in daily life. The chapter explores the reasons why Bonaventure's training in Paris and his multiple roles as a teacher, preacher, and Franciscan led him to develop his angelology. It discusses what the Seraphic Doctor actually says about angels, not only about their nature and general characteristics, but also about why these topics should be important. As someone responsible for leading worship, presiding at mass, and, eventually, helping to oversee the liturgical regulations for the Franciscans, Bonaventure worked within medieval traditions regarding angels and human worship.

Keywords: angelology; Bonaventure; Europe; Franciscans; Paris; Seraphic Doctor



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