Franciscan Intellectual Tradition I 

This module, part I of a two-part series that treats the Franciscan Intellectual Tradion from its inception to the present , aims to familiarise students with the background of this tradition and its earliest representatives in France and Italy, especially at the University of Paris. Francis of Assisi’s caution regarding the potential risks of academic learning is well-known, but when Alexander of Hales joined the Franciscan order in 1236, he was allowed to retain his position as regent master at the University of Paris, thereby giving the Franciscans a chair at what was then the Latin world’s most prestigious centre of learning. When Bonaventure became Minister General, he significantly consolidated and expanded the order’s intellectual turn. The sessions of this module offer a treatment of the principal schools of thought that influenced the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (including classical Greek philosophy, Pseudo-Dionysius, medieval monastic tradition, and Islamic philosophy) as well as the historical, social and religious context from which it emerged.  The module teats the contributions of the early Franciscan school at the University of Paris before presenting the multifaceted contribution of St. Bonaventure (e.g. philosopher, exegete, theologican, preacher, minister general and mystic).  The influence of Joachimism is considered in the thought of St. Bonaventure and Peter John Olivi. 

Duration: 40 hours, comprising two 2-hour sessions per week over a ten week term.
 
 
Assessment
 
Write a 2,500 word essay on one of the following.
 
1. How for Bonaventure, does the mind journey into God?  What is distictively Franciscan about his understanding of that journey?
2. Describe some areas of Bonaventure's thought that may have been influenced by Joachimism.
3. Peter John Olivi is regarded as one of the most brilliant and controversial Franciscan thinkers.  Can one argue that Olivi's thought is an orthodox development of Bonaventure's theology of history?  Critically assess Olivi's contribution to the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. 
4. A topic of your choice, to be agreed in discussion with one of the course tutors.

 
Lecturers 
 
 

 Tom Herbst OFM

 email: tom.h@franciscans.ac.uk

 

 Tom Reist OFM Conv

 email:frtom.r@franciscans.ac.uk 

 

 Monica Luisa Tobon

 email: monica.t@franciscans.ac.uk