The Commentary Project
contact the Project by clicking here.
Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Editor of The Franciscan Archive: as Publisher and Project Coordinator / Translator
B.A. Anthropology w. emphasis in Classical Studies: University of Florida: Gainesville, FL, USA: 1986
B.A. equiv. Catholic Philosophy: Our Lady of Grace Seminary, Boston, MA, USA: 1988
Dr. Edward Dean Buckner: as Editorial Consultant
Ph. D. Philosophy: University of Bristol, England: 1986
Translating: Book II: Distinction 3, Part I,
Article I : On the simplicity of the essence in the Angels
Article II : On personal discreteness in the Angels.
with an Introduction to the Latin text
of the Kilian Fischer edition of 1493
Drs. Jan C. Klok: as Editorial Assistant
Doctoral Student: Institut für
Spätmittelalter und Reformation,
Evangelisch-theologische Fakulät, Tübingen.
Verifying the Electronic
Texts of Books I & II of Lombard and Bonaventure
with the Quaracchi Editions
Dear Visitors to The Franciscan Archive,
This is the Home Page of The Commentary Project: a private scholarly endeavor of The Franciscan Archive, which aims to publish a complete critical English translation of St. Bonaventure’s great Commentaria in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum in the next 5 years, along with the text of Master Peter Lombard’s work, Quattuor Libri Sententiarum.
As you may know, The Franciscan Archive has been publishing English translations of the Quaracchi Edition of the Saint's Opera Omnia for the last 4 years or so. What you may not know, is that in the last 750 years since its publication, St. Bonaventure's Commentaria in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum, has never been published in the English Language in its entirety. Only recently have a few articles appeared in print, namely, the prefaces to the four books. And though the First English Translation of Lombard’s Four Book of Sentences was published in a manuscript edition about a century ago, this new translation is the first to be done from the Quaracchi Edition, in a systematic manner, and made widely available.
Unlike the Summa of St. Thomas, which is available widely on the Internet, in Latin and English, and has been translated into many of the major European Languages, the Commentaria of St. Bonaventure, which Pope Sixtus V reckoned among the great works of Scholastic Theology, and which Pope Leo XIII praised in no uncertain terms, is no where available.
In private correspondence a few years ago with the Rector of the Collegio di San Bonaventura, outside of Rome, Italy, I learned that the Order does not have any current plans to translate this great work of theology into English.
At the same time we are probably all aware of the great value this work has for Catholic Theology in modern times, due to the widespread ignorance of Medieval Catholic Theology, and on account of the equally pervasive lack of expertise in Latin among professors of theology at Catholic Institutions today (One study estimated that no more than 10% of the new recipients of Doctorates were fluent in Latin.) An English translation of the Commentaria of St. Bonaventure would, therefore, be of the greatest utility for the contemporary study of Theology and Philosophy.
The Commentaria of St. Bonaventure covers approx. 3600 pages of Latin text, single spaced, 9pt typeface. It discusses all matters in theology, from the nature of God to the Nature of the Sacraments. This English translation is completely new, in that it does not reference any prior English translation, and it is comprehensive, in that it translates the entire Critical Edition, complete with footnotes, and does not re-use prior translations, even for authors cited in the text or footnotes; this enables a consistency of translation of terminology, which greatly aides the uniformity of understanding of Peter Lombard’s and St. Bonaventure’s thought.
The Franciscan Archive’s unique position as the premier English Language site on Franciscan Studies (see FAQ for universities linking to the site) enables it to contribute to the publication of this project, while offering the texts freely for download to scholars and students throughout the world. As editor of The Franciscan Archive, I am grateful for the letters which arrive weekly from Scholars and students world wide, commending The Franciscan Archive for its accuracy, utility, and the importance of its contribution to Franciscan Studies on the Internet. I, therefore, believe, that The Commentary Project at The Franciscan Archive will greatly contribute to furthering the edification of the readers of the site as well as promoting the study of Scholastic Theology and Philosophy internationally.
I invite others interesting in contributing to the Commentary Project to consider assisting in any of various capacities, all of which are possible with those who have internet access:
v Editorial Consultant:
o Professional Theologians, familiar with Scholastic or Patristic terminology, are cordially invited to read the English translation and offer constructive criticism to make it more faithful to the authentic thought of St. Bonaventure and Master Peter Lombard, and the authors they cites.
o Professional Philosophers, familiar with Scholastic or medieval terminology, are cordially invited to read in the English translation and offer constructive criticism regarding the Philosophical terms and arguments, to make the English translation more accurately convey the philosophical aspects of St. Bonaventure and Lombard’s thought, and that of the authors they cite.
v Editorial Assistant:
o Graduate students in Medieval Latin, Medieval Philosophy, Scholastic Theology, or Medieval Studies, are cordially invited to assist in the preparation of the text by means of finding an correcting any discrepancies of spellings, translation, layout, citation, terminology, and of implementing the counsels and corrections offered by the Editorial Consultants. Due to the massive size of this project, this is must needed, since the great number of files and pages make too easy for errors of this kind to slip through without notice.
v Contributing Translator:
o Those interested in contributing to the Commentary Project by translating a Distinction or part there of, from either Peter Lombard’s Book of Sentences or St. Bonaventure’s Commentary, and who are willing to work in accord with the heretofore established norms of the English Translation, as well as recommend improvements, are cordially invited to participate. While it may be easier than it seems to translate a given section, one must note that the time involved (about 2-3 hours per page) for typing the Latin from the critical edition and translating the Latin in to English may be prohibitive for most. One must take this into consideration, as well as meeting the deadlines posted for the Publication Schedule. Translators must also either acquire or obtain access to a copy of the critical edition being used. (Translators require a sound and extensive understanding and comprehension of classical Latin grammar and some familiarity with medieval syntax, and philosophical and theological terminology).
v Undergraduate Assistant:
o Undergraduates who are willing to assist in any capacity, as well as contribute aides for the readers of the English translations, such as lexica, indices, tables of contents, html documents, or markup editing, etc. etc., are also cordially invited to participate. At some institutions, you may also be able to obtain credit for your participation, as part or whole of the work of an independent study course in Latin, Theology, Philosophy, HTML design or Internet publication.
If you are interested in this project, which I dub “The Commentary Project", please do contact me.
Finally, if you are a Professor of Philosophy or Theology, and have found that this Project has been useful to you and/or your students, and would like to publicly commend the work, so as to further its diffusion and utility, please contact me directly.
Sincerely in Christ,
Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The Franciscan Archive
"A WWW Resource on St. Francis and Franciscanism"
The English Translation of Book I is now complete, and is available on CD-Rom
God Willing: the schedule for published articles, which will finish Book II, will be as follows:
BOOK II: on CD