St. Bonaventure University

Franciscan Research

The late Fr. Allan Wolter, O.F.M., a foremost North American scholar of Duns Scotus, and Dr. Oleg Bychkov, professor theology at St. Bonaventure, published two volumes that rank among the finest contributions of the Franciscan Institute to medieval studies to date.

They edited and translated a listener's report on Duns Scotus's Paris lectures on Peter Lombard's Sentences. The title is as weighty as the two volumes, totaling some 2,500 pages: John Duns Scotus. The Examined Report of the Paris Lecture. Reportatio I-A.

The project was started by Wolter in the late 1990s, and continued in the early 2000s by Bychkov, first as an assistant and collaborator of Wolter, and after 2003 on his own. The result was publication of a Latin text and an English translation of Book One.

Wolter first taught in the Franciscan Institute in the 1940s. He returned to the Franciscan Institute, one last time, to take the Joseph A. Doino Visiting Professorship of Franciscan Studies in 1997. In 2002, at the age of 89, he retired to St. Louis. 

Bychkov worked with Wolter on the edition, reviewing the Latin text as well as Wolter's English  translation, especially after Fr. Allan's retirement.

Scotus (1265-1308) is known as the inventive thinker who continued the Franciscan tradition that began in Paris in the late 1230s with Alexander of Hales and built upon the thought of Bonaventure. His influence has continued into modern times.

After an eclipse of sorts as a consequence of the prominence of Neothomism in the church, Scotus has slowly won again the great respect of thinkers, philosophical and theological, that he enjoyed in previous centuries. This publication both justifies that respect and will certainly stimulate its development.

In such a way, the Franciscan Institute helps give past Franciscans a voice today. Wolter and Bychkov have not only enabled Scotus to speak again; they have given him an English tongue as well.