The Night School for Deeper Learning (Series IX, Session II) with St. Bonaventure
October 19 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
One of the greatest of the medieval theologians, Saint Bonaventure was the Minister General of the Franciscan Order during a time when the so recently founded Order (St. Francis of Assisi died in October 1226) was tearing itself apart. He was the steady, brilliant, and discerning leader who organized and healed them. At the University of Paris (1235-1257 CE), he studied, rising quickly to prominence as a thinker of wide and deep theological understanding, eventually becoming in 1254 the head of the Franciscan faculty of Theology at that university. What he is especially noted for was his brilliance and holiness – an intellectual of the highest order and a mystic – and thus he is often compared to his contemporary, St. Thomas Aquinas of the Dominican Order. The work of his that will interest us is his spiritual masterpiece, Journey of the Mind to God (published in 1259 CE).
The overarching theme of Series 9 of The Night School for Deeper Learning is: “To live in a manner worthy of the call that you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). We will learn from the early Christian author of that Letter (1st century); from an Italian (St. Bonaventure, OFM, 13th century), from a German (Meister Eckhart, OP, 13th century), and from the current Pope, Francis I (since 2013, 21st century), who is an Argentinian. So, we will meet a near Apostle, a Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit.
The Night School is an experience of deep thought. This spiritual exercise activates in those who attend a longing for more depth of life and cultivates in them a greater capacity to explore with intellect and feeling the profound riches of the deep Tradition. In each class, the group is introduced to a new “guest” who were/are profound thinkers or missionaries or musicians or architects or philosophers or painters or poets or theologians or mystics. In sum, The Night School is meant to be enjoyable, even startling at times (surprised by the wisdom and beauty we have available to us when given a chance to experience it), and most of all to be an experience of God.