Theology and Emotion

While theology is sometimes criticized for being too frigid an approach to the gospel, Bonaventure argues that in fact theology is both thought and emotion (cognitio and affectum). “For this knowledge (cognitio),” he writes, “that Christ died for us, and similar things, unless one is a sinner and hardened, moves one to love” (Comm. in I. Librum Sententiarum, Prooemium Q.3 Conc.). The proper response to theology is love for Christ, because it is this knowledge: that Christ has died for us–that Christ has died for me. If someone truly knows this, then she will love the one who has done this. So Bonaventure can write that the “path” of theology “is only through the most ardent love of the Crucified One” (Itinerarium prol. 3).

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