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The Journey of the Mind to God

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Hackett edition of this classic of medieval philosophy and mysticism--a plan of pilgrimage for the learned Franciscan wishing to reach the apex of the mystical experience--combines the highly regarded Boehner translation with a new introduction by Stephen Brown focusing on St. Francis as a model of the contemplative life, the meaning of the Itinerarium, its place in Bo ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 15th 1993 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published December 1st 1956)
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Mark Adderley
As the other reviews have noted, this is not an easy book to read. The style is extremely dense. However, a little patience really pays off. And the editors of this translation have done all they can to assist: there's a helpful summary of the book in the introduction, as well as copious notes at the end. Between the two of them, they make the book accessible.

St. Bonaventure's idea is that the soul progresses towards God in three steps, each of which can be subdivided, producing six altogether:

James Andersen
This book is a short but profound book, it is one that should not be underestimated by its size either. One will need to most likely re-read this book over a couple more times after the initial reading just to make sure they get all the concepts, reading this with a group may even be better. I also highly recommend reading the footnotes for each chapter, either while reading each chapter or after reading said chapter, because they are vital for understanding in a fuller appreciation what this bo ...more
Very dense. I will summarize/dumb-down below:

St. B uses the Alexandrian/allegorical method of reading Scripture, and thus asks what the six wings of a seraph might symbolize. The seraphim are on fire ("the burning ones" in Hebrew), they are the spirits closest to The Lord, and He "sits upon them."

Therefore, St. B concludes that the "wings" are the means by which they reach The Lord. These 6 wings become 6 steps, or 6 means by which the spirit/mind comes to see the Lord directly. They form the i
This is a slim, 99-page book that is so packed with dense writing that it takes three readings just to barely grasp some of the concepts. Saint Bonaventure's (1217-1274) text only takes up a little more than a third of the book, the remainder being introductory information and footnotes. It is those two extra elements that really make this book a worthwhile read, as they allow a modern reader to more deeply comprehend the concepts Bonaventure lays out.

This 1993 version of Bonaventure's work is a
Short read. I enjoyed the last couple sections; the first few sections made me cringe a bit.
So very smart. The language is pretty complex so you really need a mild prior understanding to grasp alot of the ideas. It would have probably been more informative if I had read the new/or old testament but oh well. Amazing ideas about God and the truth of existence and love and all that jazz.
To be fair, I don't think my mind was ready to read something like this. Even Bonaventure stated that a certain amount of study or self discipline was necessary to comprehend the steps leading to God.
Dean P.
It would seem that Scholastic philosophy is not my thing. I tried, I really tried, to read and understand, but mostly I just read and shook my head.
Patrick May
LOVED Bonaventure. Would love to check out some more of his works.
Dan Yingst
Ever read a book ten times and feel like you're barely scratching the surface?
Ona Kiser
A bit dense. Ended up reading it again in September. Lovely stuff.
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Bonaventure (b. 1221 as John of Fidanza) was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher, the eighth Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor. He was a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonized on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor" (Latin: "Doctor Seraphicus"). Many writing ...more
More about Bonaventure...
Bonaventure The Life of St. Francis Breviloquium St. Bonaventure's on the Reduction of the Arts to Theology Bonaventure: Mystic of God's Word

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