chapter  4
38 Pages

Bonaventure and the Franciscan Community

ByScott Matthews

Bonaventure's importance lay in the fact that he was able to use the resources provided by the Franciscan traditions at Paris and Oxford to vindicate Christian claims more generally against Arabian and Aristotelian challenges. The Augustinian conception of theology, adopted by Lombard, as a single science embracing all things and signs of things in as much as they are related to God permeates Bonaventure's thought and is presented as the key to natural knowledge. Bonaventure affirms that the Creator is known through the creature both because of agreement and because of need, and proceeds to resolve the tensions raised by the objections. Bonaventure appears to have enriched the Parisian account of the natural knowledge of God with what he found in the Oxford Friars – perhaps through Thomas of York who came to Paris during this period to defend the Franciscans alongside Bonaventure against secular critics.