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The Abbot and the Doctors: Scholastic Reactions to the Radical Eschatology of Joachim of Fiore

  • Bernard McGinn (a1)


“Why are these fools awaiting the end of the world?” This remark, said to have been made by Pope Boniface VIII during the perusal of a Joachite treatise, typifies what must have been the reaction of many thirteenth century popes to the eschatological groups of the time. With some notable exceptions, the popes of the century were men from a single mold: lawyers, administrators, dynasty builders—men trained to expand the interests of the best organized and most efficient government in Europe, the church. Though it would be a serious error to see the concerns of these men as purely political, for religion and politics were mingled in the thirteenth century in inextricable fashion, there was a practicality and a sense of reality to the lawyer popes that shines through Boniface's impatient outburst at the visionary mutterings and interminable squabbles of those who thought the end was near.



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1. “Cur fatui exspeetant finem mtrndi?” Cited in Finke, H., Aus den Tagen Bonifas VIII (Münster, 1902), p. 222.

2. Especially Boniface's predecessor Celestine V (1294), the monk who was hailed by the Spiritual Franciscans as the long-awaited pastor angelicus. Cf. Baethgen, F., Der Engelpapst: Idee und Erscheinung (Leipzig, 1943), chaps. 2 and 3. Jordan, E.Joachim de Flore,” Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, VIII, c. 1446, claims that John XXI (1276–77) was also a sympathizer with the Joachite movement.

3. On the lawyer popes, ef. Southern, R. W., Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (Penguin Books, 1970), pp. 131–33.

4. The most tip-to-date treatment of Joachim's life is Grundmann, H., “Zur Biographie Joachims von Fiore und Rainers von Ponza,” Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 16 (1960), 437546. The best bibliographical introduction to Joachim studies remains Bloomfield, M., “Joachim of Flora,” Traditio, 13 (1957), 249311.

5. For an analysis of these interviews, ef. Reeves, M., The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages: A Study of Joachimism (Oxford, 1969), pp. 315.

6. Grundmann, H., Studien über Joachim von Fiore (Leipzig, 1927, photomechanical reprint, 1966), Chap. I, “Die Formen der Exegese und die Gesehichtstheologie;” and de Lubac, H., Exégèse Médiévale, I, 2 (Paris, 1961), 437558, especially 460–61.

7. For general background to the theory of the ages of history, cf. Schmidt, R., “Aetates mundi: Die Weltalter als Gliederungsprinzip der Gesehichte,” Zeitschrift für Kirchen-gesehichte, 67 (19551956), 288317.

8. One of the weaknesses of Reeves' informative book is to attempt to explain the abbot's theory of history and of the Trinity without such a treatment.

9. Cf. especially Reeves, M., “The Liber Figurarum of Joachim of Fiore,” Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies, 2 (1950), 6774.

10. He even devoted a separate treatise to it, the De septem sigillis, edited by Reeves, M. and Hirsch-Reich, B., ‘The Seven Seals in the Writings of Joachim of Fiore,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, 21 (1954), 211–47.

11. Fournier, P., Études sur Joachim de Flore et ses doctrines (Paris, 1909), and C. Ottaviano in the preface to his edition of the pseudonymous Liber Contra Lombardum (Rome, 1934) both accuse Joachum of Tritheism.

12. Croceo, A., “La Formazione dottrinale di Gioacchino da Fiore e le Fonti della sua teologia Trinitaria,” Sophia, 23 (1955), 192–96; and La Teologia Trinitaria di Gioaechino da Fiore,” Sophia, 25 (1957), 218–32. On the problem of Joachim's sources, cf. the summary in Bloomfield, op. cit., 271–88.

13. The influence of Joachim's Trinitarian views may indeed work together with those of the School of Gilbert in the distinctive “Oriental” doctrinal complex described by Chenu, M.-D., “La dernier avatar de la théologie orientale en Occident au XIIIe siècle,” Mélanges Augusts Pelzer (Louvain, 1947), 159–81; but they are independent in origin.

14. E.g., the Jewish sources behind his theory of the Trinitarian circles uncovered by Hirsch-Reich, B., “Die Quelle der Trinitätskreise von Joachim von Fiore und Dante,” Sophia, 22 (1954), 170–78.

15. Joachim always displayed a very high opinion of St. Bernard and quoted his De Consideratione V, 7, with approval in the Psalterium (f. 234va) against the idea of a quaternity in God.

16. Joachim lashes out against Scholasticism in the Expositio (f. 87va) and in his last work, the Super Quatuor Evangelia (ed. Bnonaiuti, E., No. 67 of the Fonti per la Storia d'Italia, Rome, 1930), 277, 296–97.

17. Foberti, F. in his Gioacchino da Fiore (Florence, 1934), 98, claimed that this work, the De essentia seu unitate Trinitatis, was a Cistercian forgery. The claim has not been supported by other scholars. The Liber contra Lombardum edited by C. Ottaviano is not by Joachim at all, but is actually the earliest of the pseudo-Joachite works dating from approximately 1235.

18. The Lombard is criticized anonymously in the Psalterium (f. 229rb) and the Expositio (f. 34rb); and by name in the Psalterium (f. 277rb) and in the De vita sancti Bent-dicti, ed. Baraut, C., ‘Un tratado inédito de Joaquin de Fiore,” Analecta Sacra Tarraconnensia, 24 (1951), 77. Of. Crocco, , “La Teologia Trinitaria.‥,” 225; and Reeves, M., op. cit., 3031.

19. “La Teologia Trinitaria.‥,” 218.

20. Croceo himself notes this, “La Teologia Trinitaria.‥,” 228–29. Of. Psalterium (ff. 257vb; 260rb).

21. Bloomfield, M., op. cit., 262–63.

22. Concordia IV, 33 (f. 56vb) (Venice, 1519, photomechanical reprint, 1964): Primus status seculi initiatus est ab Adam, fructifieavit ab Aabraham, consumavit in Christo. Secundus initiatus ab Ocia, fructificavit ab Zacharia patre Joannis baptiste accepturus consumationem in temporibus istis. Tertius sumens initium a beato Benedicto. Cepit proferre fructum 22a generatione ab eodem sancto viro, consumandus et ipse in con-sumatione seculi. Et primus quidem in quo claruit ordo coniugatorum proprietate mysterii ascribitur patri. Secundus in quo claruit ordo clericorum in tribu luda ascri-bitur filio. Tertins in quo claruit ordo monachorum ascribitur spiritui sancto.

23. Reeves, M., Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages, 129–32; and “The Liber Figurarum of Joachim of Fiore,” 71–2; 7577.

24. He himself refused to predict a definite date. The closest that he comes to it is in Concordia (f. 118r), but the cautions expressed in ff. 63va, 67vb, and 118ra express his real mind. The noted Liber Figurarum which seems to emanate partly from Joachim's own hand and partly from his immediate circle makes the identification more definite, cf. Tavola IV, in Tondelli, L., Reeves, M., and Hirsch-Reich, B., Il Libro delle Figure. Vol. II, Tavole (Turin, 1953 2).

25. Gregory I, Registrum III, 29 (MGH. Ep. I, 187).

26. Bernard, Epistola LVI (P.L. 182, e. 162).

27. Manselli, R., La Lectura super Apocalypsim di Pietro Giovanni Olivi: Ricerche sull 'escatologismo medioevale (Rome, 1955); Töpfer, B., Das Kommende Reich des Friedens (Berlin, 1964); Leff, G., Heresy in the Later Middle Ages, 2 Vol. (N.Y., 1967); and M. Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy.…

28. This distinction, though difficult to apply in practice, is necessary given the proliferation of works falsely ascribed to the abbot. Both Reeves and Leff generally use the term “Joachimist” to refer to what is here called “Joachite,” but without making a distinction such as the one suggested here. My plea for this idiosyncracy is not only the necessity for an adequate, if abstract, distinction, but also the recollection that Salimbene generally refers to those caught up in such speculations as Joachitae.

29. This division owes much to the valuable work of Reeves, but the three periods are only implicit in her summaries, e.g., op. oit., 151–53, 185–88, 302–07.

30. Another important theme that began to receive emphasis at this time was Joachim's supposed prophecy of the two mendicant orders. Joachim had seen the role of the monastic viri spirituales who would usher in the third age as a double one: pure contemplation on the one hand, and the work of preaching on the other. Hence he usually spoke of two coming monastic orders: e.g., Concordia (ff. 68v, 71v–72r, 76v); Expositio (ff. 175-v-176r); and Tractatus (ed. Buonaiuti, , 99, 164–65). Cf. Reeves, M., op. cit., 141–44. The mendicant transformations of this will be outlined below.

31. Among these may be mentioned: (1) the setting of a definite date for the initiation of the third age; (2) the identification of the two orders of the transitional period with the Franciscans and Dominicans; and (3) the beginning of concentration on poverty as the eschatological sign.

32. E.g., Gerardo's claim that the New Testament had been abrogated by the three major works of Joachim, the Evangelium Aeternum, which was to be the written scripture of the third age.

33. On the way in which the Spiritual Franciscans used Joachite thought for their own purposes, cf. Leff, , op. cit. I, 6883; 122–39; 153–54; 174–91. Leff's conclusion is that “Franciscan content had usurped Joachist form” (p. 190). Among the less specifically Franciscan developments in the Joachite tradition in this period are: (1) the increasingly virulent criticism of the present papacy; (2) the growing emphasis on the role of the reforming pope (pastor angelicus) who would usher in the third age; and (3) the shift towards political prophecy and emphasis on the figure of the last world emperor. The old book of G. Bondatti, Gioachinismo e Francescanismo nel Dugento (S. Maria degli Angeli, 1924) is stil useful on Franciscan Joachitism.

34. Cf. Reeves, , op. cit., 53.

35. Chronica (ed. Holder-Egger, O.), MGH.SS. XXXII, 239 sqq.

36. Reeves, , op. cit., 5253; 185–86.

37. Pelster, F., “Die Quaestio Heinrichs von Harclary über die zweite Ankunft Christi,” Archivio italiano per la storia della pietd, 1 (1951), 2582; and Reeves, , op. cit., 315–17.

38. Reeves, , op. cit., 315–16.

39. Cf. J. Bignami-Odier, “Les visions de Robert d'Uzès, O. P.,” Archivum Fratrum

40. AA.SS. Martius, 7, p. 665: Et quia ex dictis Abbatis Joachim praedicti haeretici fomentum sumunt praefati erroris pestiferi, pracdictus Doctor in quodam monasterio petivit librum praefati Abbatis, et oblatum totum perlegit, et ubi aliquid erroneum reperit vel suspectum, cum linea subducta damnavit, quod totum legi et credi prohibuit, quod ipse sua manu docta cassavit. Although William's account (which dates from about 1320) is obviously colored by John XXII's struggle against the Spiritual Franciscans, there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the story. On the value of Toceo's life, cf. Foster, K., The Life of Aquinas (Baltimore, 1959), 613.

41. On this quarrel, cf. Douie, D., The Conflict between the Seculars and Mendicants at the University of Paris in the 13th Century (London, 1954), Aquinas Society Paper No. 23; and Congar, Y., “Aspects ecclésiologiques de la querrelle entre mendiants et seculiers dans la seconde moitié du XIIIe siècle et le debut du XIVe,” Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen âge, 36 (1961), 35151.

42. William's De periculis novissimi temporis saw the mendicants themselves as the sign of the approach of the Antichrist.

43. The Commentary was delivered from 1254–56; one would expect the texts from the Commentary on the Fourth Book to date from the end of the period.

44. In IV Sent, d.43, q.l, a.3, quaestiuneula 2, “Videtur quod tempus illud non sit occultum.” On the dating of St. Thomas' works there are convenient summaries in I. Eschmann, T., “A Catalogue of St. Thomas' Works,” in Gilson, E., The Christian philosophy of st. Thomas aquinas (N.Y., 1965), 381430; and Chenu, M. D.Towards understanding st. Thomas (Chicago, 1963), Part II, passim.

45. The first argument is Aristotelian, citing a text from the De Generatione. The second argument is based upon the year 1260, while the third depends on the prefigurement of the New Testament in the Old—both Joachite themes. For further texts on the impossibility of knowing the time of the end, cf. In IV Sent, d.47, q.1, a.1, quaestiuncula 3; d.48, q.1, a.4, quaestiuncula 4, ad 2; and d.48, q.2, a.2, ad 8.

46. Et similiter videtur esse de dictis Abbatis Joachim, qui per tales conjecturas de futuris aliqua vera praedixit, et in aliquibus deceptus fuit.

47. Joachim's prophecy of two monastic orders, one contemplative, one active, was referred to in note 30 above. The pseudonymous works, beginning with the Super Hiere-miam Prophetam (e.g., ff. 12v sqq.), changed this to two preaching orders, not unexpectedly looking very much like the Franciscans and Dominicans. Cf. Reeves, , Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages…, 145–60.

48. Reeves argues that this Joachite theme and the symbolism in which it was expressed were at the basis of the joint encyclical letter issued by the generals of the two orders in 1255. Cf., op. cit., 146–48.

49. Text in Opuscula Theologica, Vol. II (Marietti, ed.), 5110 Cf. Glorieux, P., “Le ‘Contra Impugnantes’ de St. Thomas. Ses sources, son plan,” Mélanges Mandonnet I (Paris, 1930), 5181.

50. Epist. CXCIX, CSEL 57, 243–92.

51. Unde cum quidam iam Christi Evangelium mutare conentur in quoddam aliud evan-gelium quod dicunt aeternum, manifeste dicunt instare tempora Antichristi. Hoc autem evangelium de quo loquuntur, est quoddam introductorium in libros Ioachim com-positum, quod est ab Ecclesia reprobatnm; vel etiam ipsa doctrina Joachim, per quam, ut dicunt, Evangelium Christi mutatur. (ed. cit., #533, p. 105). Immediately below (#534) Thomas says that although the doctrine of Joachim or of the Introductorius contain many reprehensible things, it is false to assert that it is the doctrine that will be preached by the Antichrist, as William had said.

52. Edited by Denifle, H., “Das Evangelium Aeternum und die Kommission zu Anagni,” Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte, 1 (1885), 49142.

53. Especially in the long quaestio disputata (c. 1265) “Utrum possit sciri ab homine quando motus caeli finiatur.” De Potentia, q.5, a.6.

54. Joachim autem Abbas Florensis monasteri non bene capiens verba Magistri prae-dieti, utpote in subtilibus fidei dogmatibus rudis, praedictam Magistri Petri doctrinam haereticam reputavit.‥ In Decretalem secundum Expositio, Opera Omnia XVI, 308 (Parma, ed.). Joachim is also mentioned in the Contra Errores Graecorum, chap. 4 (Opera Omnia XV, 241), dating from 1263. Aquinas makes a point here that he will return to in S.Th. Ia, q.39, a.5, ad 1, viz., that Joachim has patristic tradition on his side in using expressions like “essentia generat essentiam,” but that these older modes of expression are no longer adequate. As the Summa text puts it: Unde huiusmodi locutiones non sunt extendendae, sed exponendae.

55. Respondeo dicendum quod circa hoc erravit Abbas Joachim, asserens quod, sicut dieitur, “Deus genuit Deum,” ita potest dici quod “essentia genuit essentiam.‥” Sed in hoc deceptus fuit: quia ad veritatem Iocutionum, non solum oportet considerare res significatas, sed etiam modum significandi.‥”

56. Benz, E., “Joachim-Studien III. Thomas von Aquin und Joachim de Fiore,” Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 53 (1934), 52116.

57. It seems that the second and third arguments, stressing the third age as the fullness of revelation without mentioning the abrogation of the Gospel of Christ, can also be said to represent the Joachimist position, as well as the Joachite.

58. Of the fourteen scriptural quotations discussed in the article only those from Mt. 24, 14, and 24, 34–36 show some connection with the treatments in the Scriptural commentaries belonging to the same second Paris period. Cf. Expositio in Matthaeum, XXIV, #1; #3 (Opera Omnia X, 217; 223–24).

59. Besides Augustine, Chrysostum and the Pseudo-Dionysius are used. The text from the Pseudo-Dionysius, “Eco. Hier. V, 2, was a very popular one with Aquinas, as Y. Congar demonstrates in “Le Sens de l'economie salutaire dans la théologie de St. Thomas d'Aquin (Somme théologique),” Festgabe Joseph Lortz: II. Glaube und Geschichte (Baden-Baden, 1958), 8689.

60. It may be possible that Quaestiones Quodlibetales VII, q. 6, a.15, ad 1, is an attack on Joachim's typical sense. To the objection that the Scriptures have only an historical sense, because figurative statements are not only applied to Christ, but also to others, Aquinas replies that if similitudines imaginariae are applied to others the sense must be historical, if applied to Christ the sense is allegorical. Thus Christ's position maintains a supremacy for Aquinas that it does not have with Joachim.

61. On Christ's centrality in Aquinas, cf. Congar, Y., op. cit., 81, 112; and Ratzinger, J., Die Geschichtstheologie des heiligen Bonaventuras (Munich, 1959), 118–19.

62. Dempf, A., Sacrum Imperium (Munich, 1929), 395; Buonaiuti, E., “Gioaechino da Fiore, San Bonaventura, San Tommaso,” Ricerche Religiose, 6 (1930), 296–97; Benz, E., op. cit., 115–16; and Gregory, T., “sull 'escatologia di Bonaventura e Tommaso d'Aquino,” Studi Medievali, 3rd Series, 6 (1965), 8990.

63. Chenu, M.-D., ‘Histoire et allegorie au douzième siècle,” Festgabe J. Lortz. II. Glaube und Geschichte, 6465, 7071; Secklar, M., Das Heil in der Geschichte: Geschichts-iheologisches Denken bei Thomas von Aquin (Munich, 1964), 189–95; and especially Y. Congar, op. cit., passim.

64. T. Gregory, op. cit.; and Escatologia e Aristotelismo nella Scolastica Medievale,” Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana, 10 (1961), 163–74.

65. Cf. Hubaux, J., “St. Augustin et la crise eschatologique de la fin du IVe siècle,” Academic Royale de Belique Bulletin de la, classe des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques, 5th Series, 40 (1954), 658–74.

66. It is, however, briefly noted in Ratzinger, J., op. cit., 118–19.

67. Cited in In IV Sent. d.47, q.1, a.1, quaestiuncula 3, Sol. III, ad 2; d.48, q.1, a.4, quaestiancula 4; Contra Impugnantes #530–31, 541–42; De Pot. q.5, a.6c; In Matt. XXIV, #3; In Epist. II ad Thess. II, 1.1; and Ia IIae, q.106, a.4, ad. 4.

68. Quaestio 58 is cited in In IV Sent. d.47, q.1, a.1, quaestiuncula 3, Sol. III, ad 3; and in De Pot. q.5, a.6, ad 1. Quaestio 60 is cited in Contra Impugnantes #532.

69. De Civitate Dei XVIII, 52–53 is found in In IV Sent. d.43, q.1, a.3, quaestiuncula 4, Sol. II; and in Contra Impugnantes #536.

70. In commenting on II Thess. 2, 3, he adverts to the interpretation of the Glossa Ordinaria that the discessio that must take place before the end will be a departure from the rule of the Roman Empire. The text continues: Sed quomodo est hoe? Quia jamdiu Gentes recesserunt a Romano Imperio, et tamen necdum venit Antichristus. Dicendum est, quod nondum cessavit, sed est commutatum de temporali in spirituale, nt dicit Leo Papa in sermone de Apostolis. Et ideo dicendum est, quod discessio a Romano Imperio debet intelligi non solum a temporali sed a spirituali, scilicet a fide catholicae Romanae Ecclesiae.” Opera Omnia XIII, 577.

71. For the dating of Bonaventure's works, cf. de Bougerol, G., An Introduction to the Works of St. Bonaventure (N.Y., 1963), 171–77.

72. … ignoranter Joachim reprehendit Magistrum [Peter Lombard] et quia, cum esset simplex, non est reveritus Magistrum, ideo iusto Dei iudicio damnatus fuit libellus eius in Lateranensi concilio et positio Magistri approbata. In I Sent. dist. 5, dub. 4, cf. Opera Omnia (Quarrachi ed.) I, 121. (Compare with Aquinas' treatment of the same distinction, In I Sent. d.5, q.1, a.1 and a.2.)

73. The Angel of the Sixth Seal had played a minor role in the authentic writings of Joachim where he is identified with the future pastor angelieus, cf. Expositio (f. 120vb); and Concordia (f.56rb). According to the later testimony of Ubertino of Casale and Bernardino of Siena, John of Parma was the first to identify the angel with Francis. The Protocoll of Anagni tells us that Gerardo made the same identification, cf. Denifle, , op. cit., 101; 120; 131. But it was clearly Bonaventure's adherence to the theme which gave it a central place in Franciscan esehatology, cf. Legenda Maior, Prologus #1; and chap. 13 (Opera Omnia VIII, 504; 545). The most complete treatment of this theme is to be found in Bihel, S., “S. Franciscus fuitne Angelus Sexti Sigilli?,” Antonianum, 2 (1927), 5790.

74. Legenda Minor, “De Transitu Mortis,” 1.1. and 1.9 (Opera Omnia VIII, 577, 579).

75. The most noted example of the identification took place in a sermon given at the General Chapter held at Paris in 1266. The text has not survived, but there is no reason to doubt the testimony of Olivi as to the fact, cf. Bihel, S., op. cit., 6667. The identification is also found in the Collationes in Hexaemeron XVI, 16 (Opera Omnia V, 405), though in a more general fashion. On appearances in Bonaventure's sermons, cf. Bihel, , op. cit., 6566.

76. E.g., Quaestiones Disputatae de Perfections Evangelii, q.2, a.2, Conclnsio #20 (Opera Omnia V, 147–49), written before 1256 according to de, Bougerol, op. cit., 118. On this question, cf. Ratzinger, J., op. cit., 111, 115–16. Bonaventure was also beginning to speculate on the theory of the seven world ages at this time, cf. In IV Sent. d.40, dub.3 (Opera Omnia IV, 854); and Breviloquim, Prol. #2 (V, 203–04).

77. The Collationes have come down to us in two reportationes: a longer version, edited in Opera omnia V, 327–454; and a shorter one edited by Delmore, F., S. Bonaventurae Collationes in Hexaemeron (Quaracchi, 1934). The Collationes have received their most incisive treatment in Ratzinger's, J.Die Gesehiehtstheologi des heiligen Bona-venturas (Munich, 1959). For comments on Ratzinger's work, cf. Classen, S., “Zur Geschiehtstheologie Bonaventuras,” Wissenschaft und Weisheit, 22 (1959), 197212; and Kaup, J., “Die Geschiehtstheologie des heiligen Bonaventura,” Franziskanische Studien, 42 (1960), 6681.

78. Ratzinger, op. cit., 106 sqq.; and Classen, , op. cit., 210, both stress the importance of the intermediaries between Joachim and Bonaventure.

79. Coll. XIII, 2–8 (V, 388–89). On Bonaventure's theory of Scripture, cf. Ratzinger, , op. cit., 912.

80. Ratzinger's brilliant analysis of Bonaventure's concept of revelation may be found in the second chapter of his study, especially 69–70, and 94–96. This analysis does much to illuminate the confusion over Joachim's own sense of the new revelation of the third age which nevertheless will not abrogate the finality of the written Gospel. This concept appears in Coll. XVI, 29 (V, 408): Et dixit, quod adhue intelligentia Scrip-turae daretur vel revelatio vel clavis David personae vel multitudini, et magis credo quod multitudini; and in Coll. XX, 15 (V, 428).

81. Coll. II, 17 (V, 339): Scripturae intelligi non possunt nec mysteria, nisi sciatur decursus mundi et dispositio hierarehia. Coll. XV, 11 (V, 400): Unde cognitio fu-turorum dependet ex cognitione preteritorum. Coll. XV, 20 (V, 401): Haec sunt seminaria, quae qui ignorat, scilicet haec tempera, non potest venire ad mysterium Scripturarum. This last statement is made in the context of a three age scheme of history in which the various ages are appropriated to the three Persons of the Trinity.

82. E.g., Coll. XV. 22 (V, 401).

83. Coll. XV, 12–20 (V, 400–401).

84. Coll. XIV, 5(V, 393–94).

85. The whole Collatio XVI is a rich Joachite treatise on the double seven ages.

86. Ratzinger, , op. cit., 1819.Classen, , op. cit., 206–07, notes that Bonaventure's system is really a triple scheme of sevens since it includes the seven days of creation, as well as the time of the Old and New Testaments. The primordial seven days, however, play little part in Bonaventure's extensive development.

87. Secundum comparationem arboris vel seminis ad semen tempora sibi mutuo succedunt; secundum comparationem germinis ad genninans mutuo sibi correspondent.… Coll XVI, 1 (V, 403).

88. Cf. Coll. XVI, 11–16; 18–19; 29 (V. 405; 406; 408). Cf. Ratzinger, , op. cit., 2931.

89. E.g., Coll. XVI, 1–2; XXIII, 4 (V, 403, 445). In the latter passage we read: Et sicut Christus in sexto tempore venit, ita oportet quod in fine generetur Eeclesia contem-plativa. Cf. Ratzinger, , op. cit., 15.

90. Opera Omnia V, 403: Post novum testamentum non erit aliud, nee aliquod sacramentum novae legis subtrahi potest, quia illud testamentum aeternum est.

91. XXII, 9–10; 16; 20–22 (V, 438–39; 440; 440–41).

92. Coll. XXII, 21 (V, 440). Cf. Ratzinger, , op. cit., 4853.

93. Coll. XXII, 22–23 (V, 440–41).

94. ibid.. Quis autem ordo iste futures sit, vel iam sit, non est facile scire.

95. Cf. Ratzinger's summary on the relation of Bonaventure to Joachim, op. cit., 106–07, and especially 119–20.

96. For other treatments of the eschatology of Bonaventure and its relation to Joachim, cf. Bondatti, G., op. cit., 137–40; Manselli, R., op. cit., 125–30; Töpfer, B., op. cit., 149–53; Tondelli, L., Il Libro delle Figure. I. Introduzione (Turin, 1953 2), 247–59; and Reeves, M., Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages…, 6667, 179–81. Reeves' statement that “St. Bonaventure was a Joachite malgrè lui” (p. 181) is misleading in hinting that he was not conscious of the delicate operation he was performing. Finally, Grundmann, H. in “Dante und Joachim von Floris,” Deutsches Dante-Jahrbuch, 14 (1932), 232 sqq., considered the whole of the Collationes to be an attack on Joachim—a view that seems scarecely supportable today.

97. Bonaventure's conception of the sixth and seventh ages as running concurrently (e.g., Coll. XV, 12, 18; XVI, 2) is most likely the source of Olivi's similar thoughts about the concurrance of the fifth and sixth ages; cf. Leff, G., op. cit., I, 125; 131. Reference has already been made to the influence of Bonaventure's identification of Francis with the Angel of the Sixth Seal on the later tradition.

98. Ratzinger claims the anti-philosophical statements of the later Bonaventure are primarily eschatological in motivation, op. cit., 121. Bonaventure first refers to false Aristotelianism as a sign of the Antichrist in 1267 in the Collationes de Septem Donis Spiritus Sancti, VIII, 16–20 (Opera Omnia V, 497–98). It is found throughout the Collationes in Hexaemeron in varying fashions, e.g., VI, 1–6; VII, 2–3; XVII, 25 and 28; and XIX, 12–15. On this whole problem, ef. Ratzinger's fourth chapter, especially 143–44, and 159–62.

99. Bonaventure's criticism of philosophy was of major import for later eschatologists, not least of all for Peter John Olivi. Cf. Leff, G., op. cit., I, 127–28; and Manselli, R., op. cit., 206–09; and Ratzinger, J., op. cit., 155–56. In an eschatological treatise of Arnald of Villanova, St. Thomas has taken the place of Aristotle as the major villain, cf. Ehrle, F., “Arnaldo da Villanova ed i Thomatiste,” Gregorianum, 1 (1920), 475501.

100. Buonaiuti, E., op. cit., 294–97.

101. Gregory, T., Eseatologia e Aristotelismo.‥, “165–67; 169; and Sull 'escatologia di Bonaventura e San Tommaso d'Aquino,” 88.

102. Congar, , op. cit., 84.

103. Gregory does recognize the importance of the reaction of Bonaventure and his followers, cf. “Eseatologia e Aristotelismo.‥,” 169–74; and “Sull 'escatologia.‥,’ 90–94. Nonetheless, he does not stress the sense in which the Collationes must still be spoken of as a Scholastic treatise. The contrast between the methods of organ-iszation (commentary on the Biblical series narrationis vs. systematic treatises organized according to quaestiones) is not as fundamental as the desire for new syntheses.

104. This shift towards eschatology raises the question of the unity of Scholastic thought. On varying older views on this question, cf. Van Steenberghen, F., La Philosophie au XIIIe siècle (Louvain-Paris, 1966), 2224. The position adopted here affirms a general unity in terms of a movement of differentiation for the purpose of eventual synthesis. In these terms Bonaventure's Collationes implieity partake of the differentiating moment and explicitly of the synthetic moment and must therefore be termed “Scholastic.” J. Ratzinger is misleading when he terms Bonaventure's polemics against the false use of philosophy as anti-Scholastic (op. cit., 160–61); they are rather directed against a particular species of Scholasticism.

105. One of the basic differences between Bonaventure and Aquinas, as Ratzinger has noted (op. cit., 143–44), is in the former's refusal to adopt the Aristotelian notion of time which allowed Thomas to affirm the philosophical possibility of an eternal world.

106. The language, of course, cannot help but recall E. Troeltseh's profound The Social leaching of the Christian Churches (Torchbook, Harper ed.) I, 328–82. I hope at some future date to be able to comment upon the relation of Troeltseh's concept of “sect” to the kind of movements under consideration.

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
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