Themes

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

The Journey of the Mind to God (Latin: Itinerarium mentis in Deum) outlines the six steps that humans can take to access the divine. Published in 1259, it is the product of its time—the High Middle Ages—and belongs to the same genre as Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica and St. Theresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle.

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Giovanni Di Fidanza, popularly known as St. Bonaventure, was a Franciscan friar and believed that humans are created in the image of God, not in the sense of a physical likeness, but rather by our ability to reason.

The six steps can be divided into three stages: outside us, within us, and above us. The journey begins from the world outside us—the world of the senses, which we can understand by means of philosophy—to the world above us, which requires faith, an can be explained only symbolically.

Another theme for Bonaventure is the de facto joining of philosophy and theology. According to Bonaventure, human beings need to adhere to the tenets of both theology and philosophy and to embrace faith in addition to reason (which, as a philosopher himself, he acknowledges as a starting point).

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