Among the works of Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure's The Soul's Journey into God ranks as a masterpiece of thirteenth century Scholasticism. Based on the image of the six winged Seraph ? the angelic creature which had provided St. Francis with his critical mystical experience, which Bonaventure recognised as an allegory for the soul's journey towards a union with God ? the book describes in six chapters the stages man has to pass through in order to experience contemplation. The text gained prominence primarily due to the intellectual nature of the spiritual treatise, dealing with the relation between faith and reason.

In A Way into Scholasticism, Peter S. Dillard offers the reader a better understanding of the concepts to be found in Bonaventure's influential work. In the form of a commentary (a format that has a venerable history within Scholasticism) he not only expounds the Bonaventurian views but evaluates them and yields new ideas which occur to him as offering a natural development of Bonaventure's position. Written with a minimum of technical jargon, the complexity beneath The Soul's Journey into God and its referencing of fundamental questions of epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, dogmatic theology and contemplative mysticism become apparent. Dillard approaches his source text by devoting a chapter to the prologue and to each of the respective stages.

A Way into Scholasticism will appeal to an audience interested in finding a way into Scholastic philosophic theology as well as individuals from all fields of research who seek an understanding of the Scholastic contribution to the Catholic intellectual tradition. The book includes a full bibliography and a glossary which explains the meanings behind Scholastic terminology. The chapters are also accompanied by discussion questions to facilitate the reader's reflection on the topic or making the book useful for group discussion.

About the Author:

Peter S. Dillard is the author of Heidegger and Philosophical Atheology: A Neo-Scholastic Critique (2008) and The Truth about Mary: A Theological and Philosophical Evaluation of the Proposed Fifth Marian Dogma (2009).

About the publisher:

James Clarke and Co Ltd is a long-established British academic publisher specialising in historical and theological books and also in reference material. It has been associated with the Lutterworth Press since 1984.