Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Philosophia: Raztinger on Bonaventure

Per me calcavit, per me qui cuncta creavit colla superba summus deus ipse deorum (arch above)

Haec Regina pia prudens est Philosophia (around queen's head)

Qui contemplantur caelestia, me venerantur (scroll of lady on her right)

Hii, qui sectantur mundum mihi famulantur (scroll of lady on her left)

That the one and unique Christian wisdom be called "Philosophia" should be cause for thought. For, even though words are not the things themselves, there is no knowledge of a thing without the word, and he who does not pay attention to the word cannot find the thing itself. "Impossibile est, quod sapientia fiat doctrina nisi per semonem" Bonaventure once said. This principle is an insight which also binds the historian. If comprehensive wisdom, in which natural and believing knowledge are united, is called "Philosophia", this means that here that concept of philosophy which the apologists once developed remains alive: for them christianity was the philosophy, the true philosophy against the false philosophy of the heathens.

If, nevertheless, here one should speak of a duality of philosophy, that exists only in the sense in which on one side was the false non-christian philosophy, on the other the christian and true philosophy, in which the fragments of truth of pagan philosophy were incorporated and placed in their proper place. So that here the distinction between the two "philosophies" is not a distinction of objective dominions, as in Thomism, but rather an historical distinction. But, in this way, the true philosophy is only one, and this true "philosophy" in the end is none other than the gospel of Jesus Christ itself.
...Here we are before a unity of philosophical and theological wisdom which is not comprehensible from a later addition, but rather precedes every dualism and every division, indeed, above all, it makes them possible.

Joseph Ratzinger, Obras Completas II (1955 previously unpublished thesis on Bonaventure's understanding of revelation and the theology of history), Madrid: BAC, 2013, 317-318.
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