Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Zemler-Cizewski, Wanda

Second Advisor

Barnes, Michel

Third Advisor

Hagen, Kenneth


There are several reasons why I decided to undertake research into St. Bonaventure's Collationes in Hexaemeron. While writing a paper on John Huss, I found a reference to the Fraticelli, a group of 14th century Franciscans who were condemned for heresy. The Fraticelli were accused of being like the Donatists, a group of North African heretics active during Augustine's life, because they esteemed themselves holier than their brethren. Thinking this medieval understanding of the Donatist heresy might have implications for contemporary discussions in ecumenical theology, I asked Fr. Georges Tavard about the Fraticelli and their condemnation. After a brief overview on the Fraticelli, their predecessors in the 13th century, the theology of Joachim, and the Joachite Controversy, Tavard recommended Joseph Ratzinger's The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure as a resource for information about the Joachite Franciscans. Since we were preparing for a Spring colloquial series on the relationship between history and theology, I immediately obtained a copy of Ratzinger's book. I found Ratzinger's book very interesting for three reasons. First, it pointed to the relationship between trinitarian theology and the theology of history which was a subject I had been examining as Dr. Michel Barnes' research assistant. Second, I had written my master's thesis on Bonaventure's questions concerning the Trinity and I found in Ratzinger's book a different perspective on his theology. Third, I thought Bonaventure's struggle with an apocalyptic group might indicate a way to respond to contemporary apocalyptic enthusiasts. When I read Ratzinger's book, I found myself in agreement with Ratzinger's main thesis which was that Bonaventure presents a progressive understanding of history in the Collationes in Hexaemeron. However, it seemed improbable that Bonaventure would turn to Joachite theology as a source for this understanding of history because the doctrines of Joachim had been strongly condemned by a papal commission. Moreover, due to his adherence to Joachite doctrine's, Bonaventure's predecessor in the office of minister general had been forced to resign from his post to save the Friars Minor as a whole from the taint of scandal and heresy...



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