Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 11 July 2011
Of all the great Christian mystics, St Bonaventure is probably one of the least known and most forgotten, yet judging by the works included in this volume, he was preeminent as a man of great spiritual wisdom. Known variously as 'the Prince of Mystics', 'the Seraphic Doctor' and 'the Devout Teacher', in his day he was a key exponent of Franciscan spirituality and a campaigner for a healing of the schism between the Roman and Greek Churches. His devoutness and open mindedness is surely beyond dispute.

This beautifully translated collection of his key works includes his masterpiece 'the Soul's Journey Into God' which deals with Bonaventure's vision of the seven stages whereby the human soul can move into ever closer union with God through Christ. Rendered as a mix of poetry and prose (a masterstroke by the translator who truly liberates Bonaventure's ideas for the modern reader in doing so), each chapter shows the profound influence not only of St Francis but in the highest ideas of the Neo-Platonic mystics of Christianity from both the Eastern and Western Churches. Bonaventure's spirituality combines the best of St Dionysius the Areopagite and the interior journey of Augustine with the loving vision of St Francis, finding God first in Nature, then in the interior world of the human soul, then united with God in contemplation of the person of Christ, who himself bound together human nature with the Divine. Instead of a vision of guilt and sin, Bonaventure's concept of the Mystic Union is profoundly humanistic while profoundly spiritual and God-centred. A masterwork of humane mysticism which does the Christian tradition proud.

The other two works - the Tree of Life and the Life of St Francis - are also wonderfully rich in style and content. The excellent Classic Of Western Spirituality have unearthed and made accessible another great treasure of Western mysticism. Another feather in their cap.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 February 2016
Quite a remarkable book considering this offers three masterpieces in one publication. The biography on Saint Francis has immediately dispelled the sentimental image of a man standing in the garden surrounded by songbirds. The life of Saint Francis is absorbing and fascinating but there are two other works here to relish and gain much spiritual insight from. Although I have yet to read The Soul's Journey I have read enough to say that this already far surpasses expectations.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 November 2015
Franciscan Theology
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 March 2010
"Bonaventure" provides a brief biography of its subject, the Franciscan scholar and Minister General, followed by three of his most important works. The works included are "The Soul's Journey Into God", "The Tree of Life" and "The Life of St. Francis." The first two invite the reader to meditate on the mysteries of God and to be drawn more deeply into them. The Life is a cross between a biography and a Gospel. It contains many factual details but also conveys the deep spirituality of St. Francis.

The parts of this book which I enjoyed the most were the biographical information of St. Bonaventure and "The Life of St. Francis". I think that the editors did an excellent job of relating the spirituality of Francis to the work of Bonaventure. Based on my reading of this book I believe that Bonaventure saw himself largely as an interpreter of St. Francis' spirituality to the world. For that alone it is worth reading.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)