Bonaventure on Moral Motivation

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 25 (2):109-136 (2005)
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IN THIS ESSAY I EXPLORE THE THEME OF MORAL MOTIVATION IN BONAventure's writings on evangelical poverty. By searching for an implied account of moral motivation in these more directly practical writings, I chart three trajectories of exemplification: meditation on the life of the exemplar as student and teacher, meditation on the exemplar as one who responds in a mediating way to social changes, and meditation on the exemplar with respect to future control of one's own environment. By examining each of these trajectories in Bonaventure's thought with reference to the case of voluntary poverty, I offer an account of moral motivation that embraces individual and psychological, as well as historical and institutional, aspects of moral exemplarity.



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