This dissertation addresses questions concerning the relationship between Bonaventure’s Collationes in Hexaemeron and the Franciscan Joachite movement. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Franciscan Studies 63 () ST. BONAVENTURE’S COLLATIONES IN HEXAËMERON. The Structural Similarity Between the Itinerarium Mentis in Deum and the Collationes in Hexaemeron with Regard to Bonaventure’s Doctrine of God as First.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Fractured Sermons and Protreptic Discourse. H h Franciscan Studies, Volume 63,pp. The balance has begun to be redressed in recent years, but I sub- mit that we have not yet been able to read this text well because we have paid insufficient attention to its literary form.

Those who attend to formal questions tend to view only the logical order of ideas without attention to the rhetorical structure of the work. Crossroad, You can either see the general economy of his doctrine in its totality, or see none of it. Bonaventure is a re- markably synthetic and systematic thinker, hexemeron efforts to trace significant shifts or develop- ments in his thought have not yielded much fruit.

Bonaventure does seem to be a scholar who was animated by a vibrant theological vision, a constellation of influences and insights that remains remarkably stable across his written works. However, such consistency has often become an excuse to pay little or no attention vollationes questions of genre, audience, rhetorical or literary structure, etc.

It is no betrayal of the unity of a system to look for the ways in which this system is applied, adjusted, presented, argued in a particular time and a particular place. So what I am doing in this essay is reading this work as a work, with its own structure, style, integrity, etc. In brief, my argument is as follows: Protrep- tic is a mode of discourse that aims hezaemeron exhort readers to pursue a particular form of life and provides exemplary instances for the practice of that form, even in the exhortation.

Given room to exist as protreptic discourse, the Collationes emerge as a very nuanced but passion- ate exhortation to an integrated life of study and holiness, of scholastic bilitationsschrift, published inwas a study of the Collationes. Ratzinger came to St. Bonaventure with an interest in theology and ecclesiology. The Collwtiones of History in St. Bonaventure might be seen, then, as a sequel to his first dissertation on St. Augustine, Volk und Haus Gottes. In his preface to the English edition jexaemeron the Bonaventure book, Ratzinger ac- knowledges that collationex interest grew out of concerns in German Catholic theological circles with the relationship between biblical salvation-history and Hellenic clolationes.

Had metaphys- ics been a misstep, as Harnack and other Protestant thinkers had suggested?

Or had Greek thought allowed Christianity to see the eternal and universal significance of an historical event? With questions like these in the forefront of his mind, Ratzinger turned to the tradi- tion, and specifically to figures whose attention seemed directed to precisely these questions.

First Augustine, and then Bonaventure. The result of his inquiry is a classic work of excellent historical scholarship on theological precedents, with a constructive theological end in mind. His judgments have not gone without collatioes in the scholarship that follows, but it seems that he has really set the terms for dis- cussion. But such colltiones fails to take account of the collatinoes that Bonaventure discusses the the- ology of history in three collations out of 24!!

Gilson, La philosophie de St. Vrin, Dieter Hattrup, Ekstatik der Geschichte Paderborn: Bonaventuras Theologie als Antwort auf die franziskanischen Joachiten Westfalen: Dietrich Coelde Verlag, Hattrup, to whose work I am deeply indebted, still manages only to shift the focus of polemics from Aver- roes and the Arts Faculty to someone much closer to co,lationes, the Franciscan Roger Bacon.

Both are valuable studies, but both again seem to assume the work is polemical and see their task as finding its proper target. For much of modern Bonaventure collatoones, the answer has been assumed rather than argued. Thus, on the one hand, readers tended to assume that this was a work of polemic, and the question to be answered became against whom the polemic was directed and what the argument included. Portions of the Collationes clearly have a polemical edge, but classifying the work as polemic, I fear, biases the reader, pro- hibiting other elements within the text from collafiones into view.


What we see in the Collationes is to some degree polemical, but much more as well.

Collationes in Hexaemeron – Wikipedia

The fact that there is so much more in the text has led other readers to find in the Collationes a rather odd-looking summa. Since Bonaventure includes in this work nearly all the classic loci of medieval theology, ac- cording to one form of reasoning, it therefore must be evidence of the scholastic tendency to synthesize and summarize in the classic genre of a summa theologiae. But an odd summa it is, since it shows few signs of the disciplined economy of style and concision that are the telltale signs of the genre.

Instead, the reader finds inferences built upon spiritual exege- sis and biblical typology. If it is a summa, it is unlike others in the genre. But what if it is neither polemic nor summa?

How, then, do we read it? Our first clue is the recognition that the Collationes were performed or preached by Bonaventure, rather than written by him.

The text comes to us in the form of two reportationes, one of which may or may not have been checked over by Bonaventure for accuracy. This fact limits what use we can make of particular words or turns of phrase, but it also asks us to read the text as performative exegetical discourse rather than as a treatise or scholastic commentary.

So here we have an exegetical form filled with some common scho- lastic tropes: Bougerol notes that the Collationes, along with their sister series, the Collationes on the Ten Commandments and the Collationes on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, are more like sermons than like theological treatises, and yet they are not quite sermons either. Reading the Collations as Sermons Typical thirteenth century Parisian university sermons were struc- tured rather formally: After this shorter exposition of the protheme, the preacher would return to his cho- sen text and begin to exposit it through the formal steps of division, iden- tifying the points to be discussed; confirmation, relating the discussion tum sexaginta.

First, the beck- oning guidance of the one who is ascending; second, the glorious condition of his ascension, and third, the fruitful result of his as- cension.

One, through learning again about his own sinfulness, and Two, through seeing again his own weakness. Such a person ascends in two ways: Since the Apostles were men of this type, they were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Rather, Bonaventure stretches the sermonic structure across sev- eral individual collations, making, all told, five extended sermons. So the first three collations are a unit with Sirach We are in substantial agreement, but the difference is more than se- mantic.

Emery and Jordan are able to illuminate the text in some remarkable ways through their interpretation, but such a view tends to focus on the textuality of the Collations, whereas I think their orality as performed discourse is essential to beginning to understand their method and their effect. The Collations are closer to the shape of a sermon; and the first three collations more akin to a protheme than a typical accessus, which would speak of structure, intention, etc.

V-VII all treat Pr. Our ha- bitual practice as modern readers when confronted with oral forms of presentation and questions of the relation between form and content, audience, etc. Rhetoric is generally the art of persuasive discourse, but Aristotle and other classical figures were careful to distinguish rhetoric and protreptic as very particular types of persuasive discourse.

Rhetoric in the precise sense, for Aristotle, aimed at persuasion of a particularly political kind, seeking to persuade an audience to a decision of one sort or an- other.

Protreptic is another mode of persuasive discourse, the presenta- tion of and exhortation to the study of some practice, art, or skill. As a philosophical genre, protreptic is an exhortation to the philosophical way of life, a life that requires the practice of the virtues of inquiry and con- templation. In its exhortation, protreptic discourse contrasts alternative ways of life with the life of philosophy and aims not only to persuade its audience but to engage them as well.


Certain common elements unite an admittedly wide variety of modes of discourse under the heading of protreptic. First, protreptic discourse aims at a particular audience with specific interests and perspectives.

In other words, it aims not at context-free rational demonstration of facts, but at the persuasion of a very particular audience. Second, the protreptic genre includes a synkrisis, a point of contrast with other modes of dis- course or ways of life. It aims for conversion to a way of life more than the proof of a certain truth as in demonstration or persuasion toward a particular deci- sion as in rhetoric proper.

Fourth, therefore, protreptic not only per- suades the audience cillationes the attractiveness of a way of life, but it invites and 10 Thomas W. SUNY Press,8. We know of but often no longer have access to a variety of ancient philoso- phic protreptics: It offers the audience a foretaste hxeaemeron the form of life that is shaped by the search for wisdom.

In this way, the protreptic structure is not only an exordium to wisdom, but a school for xollationes. In other words, protreptic discourse seeks not only to argue or to exhort, but also to invite the audience to participate in their own transformation through its exemplary display of the habits of thought which lead to wisdom.

Protreptic discourse is fundamentally performative. University of Notre Dame Press, In listening to these extended ser- mons, in following the arguments and learning their order, the auditors have already begun to take the first steps on the journey. The details and digressions that are required for such an initiation extend beyond the lim- its of what Bonaventure is able to say at one sitting.

Hence the stretched or fractured sermon. Several consequences collatoines from this heuristic vision of the Colla- tiones.

St. Bonaventure’s “Collationes in Hexaemeron” and the Joachite controversy

coklationes First of all, it allows the controversial elements of the text to emerge without reducing the text into them. As part of the synkrisis, the contrasting of alternative perspectives or forms of life, Bonaventure in- cludes discussion of Aristotle, collationds, Averroism, the mendicant pov- erty controversy, and even, perhaps, a tacit collagiones with his Franciscan confrere Roger Bacon on the proper role of the liberal arts and experi- mental sciences, but these polemical comments are taken up into a larger and more vital goal.

The intent of the Collationes is thus not so much to refute error, but to navigate a sound course through eddies and shoals of scholarly dispute to the love of Wisdom that Francis exemplified.

As protreptic, the discourse engages polemical interests but is not defined by or reduced to them. Secondly, using the protreptic genre heuristically allows one to con- ceive of the audience and arguments as more particular and dialectical than universal and demonstrative.

If a discourse is protreptic in its overall shape and goal, its dialec- tical arguments will be structured in light of the very particular outcome intended for its particular audience. In the Collationes, Bonaventure is concerned less with winning an hexaemegon than with showing a way; thus, much of his presentation will be difficult to digest into discreet proposi- tional truths possessed of some universal rationality.

This does not make the arguments irrational; it rather asserts that stripping them of xollationes con- text in the end damages their intelligibility as part of a collztiones whole.

In this case, the whole is more akin to psychagogy, the seduction of souls, than to a summa of theological knowledge. And why do they need such conversion? Given the arguments in the air in Paris, it seems that Bonaventure aims not at one particular issue, but rather collatones the root that all the issues share — the dangers of breaking apart piety and theology. Bonaventure aims to show that theology without piety is destructive curi- osity — thus naming misuses or abuses of Aristotle, philosophy, and the E.