Divine Remaking: St Bonaventure and the Gospel of Luke

By Douglas Dales

An introduction to the thought and writings of the Franciscan theologian St Bonaventure, through his insightful commentary on the Gospel of St Luke.

ISBN: 9780227176535


Douglas Dales’s Divine Remaking marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of St Bonaventure in 1217. Bonaventure distilled and transformed a rich inheritance of patristic and medieval exegesis of the Bible developed within the monastic tradition and in the university schools in Paris, Oxford and elsewhere. While teaching in Paris and then leading the Franciscans as their Minister General, Bonaventure wrote a substantial commentary on the Gospel of St Luke. This commentary is an eminent example of how his understanding of the Bible lay at the root of all that he taught and wrote. Bonaventure’s writing style reflects the beauty and ornate detail of contemporaneous works of art, stained glass, carvings in cathedrals and illuminated manuscripts. His writings, like the art of his day, are superb expressions of Christian theology and vision.

Bonaventure had a formidable memory, and his capacity to draw from across the whole Latin Bible is extraordinary, instructive and enriching. His well-ordered mind was balanced, however, by a finely tuned spiritual and pastoral intuition, which makes his approach to the Gospels applicable and relevant to the reader of today. Divine Remaking is a bridge into Bonaventure’s thought; it allows his insight into St Luke’s Gospel to be understood by anyone seeking the divine truth in today’s world.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 196

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Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Douglas Dales was from 1984 to 2012 Chaplain of Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and he is now a parish priest in the diocese of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and the author of several studies in Anglo-Saxon church history and other areas of theology.

Among his other books are: Alcuin: His Life and Legacy, Alcuin: Theology and Thought, Dunstan: Saint and Statesman, Light to the Isles: Mission and Theology in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Britain and Living Through Dying: The Spiritual Experience of Saint Paul.



1. Introduction
2. Lectio Divina
3. The Nativity Narrative
4. John the Baptist
5. Transfiguration
6. Discipleship
7. Teaching
8. Healing
9. The Passion
10. Cross and Resurrection

Biblical Index
Name and Subject Index


Endorsements and Reviews

The original commentary runs to a daunting 2000 folio pages in Latin, but it would be a manageable and fruitful exercise to re-read Luke with Dales’ fluent summary of Bonaventure as a guide. I commend this admirable work of piety and scholarship to all who care for godliness and good learning.
Very Revd Dr John Arnold, in Church Times, 20 July 2018

The Revd Douglas Dales’ Divine Remaking: St Bonaventure and the Gospel of Luke is a wonderful introduction to Bonaventure’s Commentary on the Third Gospel. Dales provides us with a helpful and manageable digest which shows us why Bonaventure’s understanding of Scripture and Revelation are so necessary in the twenty-first century. Dales supplies the reader with a lively fleshed-out biography peppered with anecdotes, and also sets him in the context of his time. It is a must-have for every Franciscan library and for anyone with an interest in Franciscan life and history.
Peter Flynn, in Fairacres Chronicle, Vol 51, No 1