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Theology, Spirituality and Christ the Center: Bonaventure’s Synthesis

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Chapter Summary

In 1999, Charles Carpenter published a work entitled Theology as the Road to Holiness in St. Bonaventure, in which he shows that, for Bonaventure, theology is undertaken for the purpose of becoming holy. This chapter discusses the works of Carpenter and Gregory LaNave and builds upon the common idea that theology is integrally related to holiness. It looks at the primacy of theology for Bonaventure and the relation of theology to philosophy, since he ultimately constructs an integration of these in Christ the center. The chapter examines his theological method, particularly that of perscrutatio, which uniquely combines scholastic and symbolic modes of thought. It also examines the life of Francis, particularly the stigmatized Francis, as the model theologian for Bonaventure. The chapter describes Bonaventure's metaphysics of 'Christ the center' as the theological center that integrates spirituality in the search for truth.

Keywords: Bonaventure; Charles Carpenter; Christ; Francis; Gregory LaNave; perscrutatio; philosophy; theology



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