Place as Exemplarism: The Phenomenology of Place and Bonaventure’s “The Soul’s Journey into God”

By Tenzan Eaghll.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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In this study, I use a phenomenological methodology to analyze Bonaventure’s The Soul’s Journey into God (Itinerarium mentis in Deum). This approach will differ from past efforts by paying particular attention to connection between sense experience and place in Bonaventure’s (1221-1274) cosmology. Previous studies have stressed the way in which man, soul, and God are interrelated in The Soul’s Journey into God but have ignored how these concepts are connected to place.
The theological key to Bonaventure’s work, as I argue, is exemplarism. Through exemplarism Bonaventure finds his place (loco) in God. Traditionally understood, exemplarism is the notion that divine ideas imbue creation and give it form. It implies that the finite things of this world are analogical copies of pure concepts from the divine mind. In Bonaventure’s thought, these exemplars are synonymous with place.

Keywords: Bonaventure, Exemplarism, Phenomenology, Place, Sense, Neoplatonism

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.103-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 770.419KB).

Tenzan Eaghll

Ph.D Student, The Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I received my B.A. and M.A. from the University of Calgary. My M.A. thesis focused on Martin Luther’s intellectual inheritance from late medieval philosophy. My current work at the University of Toronto focuses on medieval cosmology in the 13th century. Theoretically, I am most interested in phenomenology, from Heidegger to Derrida.