The Life and Works of Bonaventura (Giovanni Fidenza)

The Life and Works of Bonaventura (Giovanni Fidenza)

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Bonaventura or real name Giovanni (pronounced Covanni) Fidenza was born in 1221 in Bagnoregio (pronounced Banyorecio), near Viterbo, Italy.

Some sources also mention 1217 as the year of birth of Bonaventura. Despite many pressures to the contrary, he entered the Franciscan order in 1238. Immediately after that, he continued his education at the University of Paris under the supervision and administration of Alexander Haliensis. Haliensis had a great influence on him, calling himself “father” and “master”.

After completing his education and writing a commentary on Petrus Lombardus’ Sententiae (Fatwas), he began teaching at the University of Paris in approximately 1248. He shared his interpretation of the aforementioned work with his students in his lectures between 1248-1251. On October 23, 1256, Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas applied for a chair of theology at the University of Paris. The University of Paris did not accept those who belonged to the Franciscan and Dominican sects, which were considered beggar sects at that time. Thus his and Thomas Aquinas’ doctorates were suspended until October 1257.

In 1257, Bonaventura was appointed head of the Franciscan order, and therefore his university life came to an end. He continued his work as the seventh head of the sect and wrote articles. During his presidency, the sect developed considerably; this is why he became famous as the second founder of the sect. Bonaventura, who became Cardinal in 1273, died on July 15, 1274, the same year as Thomas Aquinas. He was canonized on July 14, 1482, and was elevated to the rank of Doctor of the Church in 1587.

Among the works of Bonaventura, Commentarius in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi (Comments on the Fatwas of Peter Lombardus), which he wrote to Petrus Lombardus’ Sententiae, has an important place. Apart from this, his works Itinerarium Mentis in Deum (The Mind’s Journey to God) and De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam (On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology) are important.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook