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.