St. Bonaventure University


Bychkov, Oleg V.


Theology and Franciscan Studies
School of Arts and Sciences

Professor, Theology and Franciscan Studies
Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies Program
Editor of Cithara
Office phone: (716) 375-2443
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Plassmann Hall 210
  • THFS 101. The Way of Francis and Clare 
  • THFS 205. Myth and Culture 
  • THFS 266. Franciscan Theology for Today
  • THFS 325. Art and Religion 
  • Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1999
  • M.A., University of Toronto, 1992
  • Soros Scholar at the University of Oxford, 1989-1990
  • Diploma in Classics from the University of Moscow, 1988

Past positions 

  • Full-time researcher; edition of John Duns Scotus’ Commentary on the De anima, Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, 1997-98.

Monographs and Editions 

  • co-translator (with Lydia Schumacher), A Reader in Early Franciscan Theology: The Summa Halensis (Fordham University Press, forthcoming in 2021); a volume of selected translations from the Summa Halensis.
  • co-editor, with X. Seubert, Aesthetic Theology in the Franciscan Tradition: The Senses and the Experience of God in Art (Routledge, 2020); a collection of essays on Franciscan theology and art, 390pp.
  • John Duns Scotus. The Report of the Paris Lecture (Reportatio IV-A), vols. 1.1, 1.2. St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: The Franciscan Institute, 2016; an edition and translation of John Duns Scotus’s Reportatio IV-A, Dist. 1-17; 1,424 pp.
  • (editor) Cithara, Volumes 51-50 (2011-2020)
  • (translator, Introduction) A.F. Losev, The Dialectic of Artistic Form. Arbeiten und Texte zur Slavistik 96 (München: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2013); an English translation of A. Losev’s Dialectic of Artistic Form(published in Russian in 1927), with an extended Introduction and Commentary.
  • (co-editor, with Xavier Seubert) Beyond the Text: Franciscan Art and the Construction of Religion (St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute Publications, 2013); a collected volume of essays on Franciscan art and theology
  • Aesthetic Revelation: Reading Ancient and Medieval Texts after Hans Urs von Balthasar (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2010) monograph, cca. 350 pp.
  • (with Anne Sheppard) Greek and Roman Aesthetics, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); translations of Latin and Greek texts, with an introduction and notes, cca. 250 pp.
  • (co-editor, with Mary Beth Ingham) Duns Scotus, Philosopher, Archa Verbi, Subsidia 3 (Münster: Aschendorff, 2010); collection of papers from the 2007 Duns Scotus congress at St. Bonaventure University, cca 280 pp.
  • (with Allan Wolter) John Duns Scotus. The Examined Report of the Paris Lecture (Reportatio I-A), vols 1-2. St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 2004, 2008. Latin text with a parallel English translation, includes introduction, notes, and a glossary; cca. 2500 pp.
  • (with James Fodor) Theological Aesthetics After von Balthasar. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008; 238 pp. a collection of essays on theological aesthetics, including several leading figures in the field
  • (co-editor) Ioannes Duns Scotus, Quaestiones super librum Elenchorum Aristotelis, ed. R. Green, T. Noone et al., Opera philosophica 2. St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: The Franciscan Institute/Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 2004.
  • (assistant editor) Ioannes Duns Scotus, Quaestiones in librum Porphyrii Isagoge et Quaestiones super Praedicamenta Aristotelis, ed. G.J. Etzkorn et al., Opera philosophica 1 (St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: The Franciscan Institute, 1999).

Articles and Notes 

  • “Suspended Beauty? The Mystery of Aesthetic Experience in the Summa Halensis,” in The Legacy of Early Franciscan Thought, edited by L. Schumacher, Veröffentlichungen des Grabmann-Institutes zur Erforschung der mittelalterlichen Theologie und Philosophie, 111-28 (De Gruyter, 2021).
  • “The Theological-Aesthetic Vision of Metropolitan Filaret (Drozdov) of Moscow,” in Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought, edited by George Pattison, Caryl Emerson, and Randall A. Poole, 79-93 (Oxford University Press, 2020). DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198796442.013.5
  • “The Status of Sensory and Aesthetic Experience in Fourteenth-century Franciscan Theology, from Peter Aureol to Adam Wodeham,” in O. Bychkov and X. Seubert, eds., Aesthetic Theology in the Franciscan Tradition: The Senses and the Experience of God in Art (New York and London: Routledge, 2020), 354-68.
  • “John Duns Scotus (ca. 1266-1308),” in Routledge Medieval Encyclopedia Online, edited by W. Blockmans and R. Le Jan (Taylor and Francis, 2019).
  • “‘He Who Sees Does Not Desire to Imagine’: The Shifting Role of Art and Aesthetic Observation in Medieval Franciscan Theological Discourse in the 1300’s,” in D. Džalto, ed., Religion and Art: Rethinking Aesthetic and Auratic Experiences in “Post-Secular” Times, Religions 10, no. 3 (2019): 15-27;
  • “The Status of the Phenomenal Appearance of the Sensory in Fourteenth-century Franciscan Thought after Duns Scotus (Peter Aureol to Adam of Wodeham),” Franciscan Studies 76 (2018): 267-85.
  • “Metaphysics as Aesthetics”: Aquinas’ Metaphysics in Present-day Theological Aesthetics.’ Modern Theology 31, no. 1 (January 2015): 147-78.
  • "In Harmony with Reason’: John Duns Scotus’s Theo-aesth/ethics,” Open Theology 1, no. 1 (2014),
  • “But Everyone Experiences the Opposite’: John Duns Scotus’s Aesthetic Defense of Anselm’s “Proof” of the Existence of God in Light of Present-day Thought,” Franciscan Studies 72 (2014): 259-303.
  • “Augustine,” invited new entry for the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Second Edition, ed. M. Kelly (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), vol. 1, 236-40.
  • “Russian Religious Aesthetics,” updated entry for the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Second Edition, edited by M. Kelly (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), vol. 5, 440-48; a joint essay.
  • “The Beauty of the Trinity: Theological Aesthetics from Augustine to Duns Scotus,” in The Opera Theologica of John Duns Scotus, 21-34 Archa Verbi, Subsidia 4 (Münster: Aschendorff, 2012).
  • “Greek and Roman Aesthetics,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Classics, ed. D. Clayman (New York: Oxford University Press, Nov. 26, 2012),; invited article for Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO), by Oxford University Press.
  • “The Place of Aesthetics and the Arts in Medieval Franciscan Theology,” in X. Seubert and O. Bychkov, eds., Beyond the Text: Franciscan Art and the Construction of Religion, 196-209 (St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute Publications, 2013).
  • “Aesthetics,” in New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy, vol. 1, ed. Robert L. Fastiggi (Detroit: Gale, 2013), 29-41; invited entry.
  • "'Aesthetic' Epistemology: Parallels between the Perception of Musical Harmony and the Cognition of Truth in Duns Scotus,” in John Duns Scotus 1308-2008. Investigations into his Philosophy, 345-56, Archa Verbi, Subsidia 5 (Münster: Aschendorff, 2010).
  • “The Nature of Theology in Duns Scotus and his Franciscan Predecessors,” Franciscan Studies 66 (2008): 5-62.
  • “What does Beauty have to do with the Trinity? From Augustine to Duns Scotus,” Franciscan Studies 66 (2008): 197-212.
  • "The Anonymous Life of St. Elphege, Lines 1-324 (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 375, ff. 57R-62R). Text and Translation," Cithara 45.2 (2006): 3-22.
  • "Image and meaning: Canonicity in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition." In Image Makers and Images Breakers. 83-91. edited by J.A. Harris. New York, Ottawa, Toronto: Legas Press, 2003.
  • "Alexej Losev: A Neoplatonic View of the Dialectic of Absence and Presence in the Nature of Artistic Form." In Neoplatonism and Contemporary Thought, Part Two, Studies in Neoplatonism: Ancient and Modern, vol. 11. edited by R. Baine Harris. 163-79. Albany: SUNY, 2002.
  • "Decor ex praesentia mali: Aesthetic Explanation of Evil in the Thirteenth-Century Franciscan Thought." Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 68, no. 2 (2001): 245-69.
  • "Play." "The Beautiful." "Aesthetics." In New Philosophical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. Moscow, 2001 (joint essays in Russian); vol. 2, pp. 67-70; vol. 3, pp. 337-42; vol. 4, pp. 457-67.
  • “The Debate Between the Knight and the Cleric.” Cithara 40, no. 1 (2000): 3-36 (Latin text, translation, and commentary).
  • “He tou kallous aporroe: a Note on Achilles Tatius 1.9.4-5, 5.13.4.” Classical Quarterly 49, no. 1 (1999): 339-41.
  • “Russian Religious Aesthetics.” In Encyclopedia of Aesthetics 4, edited by M. Kelly, 195-202. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998 (a joint essay).
  • "The Reflection of Some Traditional Stoic Ideas in the Thirteenth-Century Scholastic Theories of Beauty.” Vivarium 34, no. 2 (1996): 141-60.


  • Losev, A and V., “La joie pour l’éternité.” Correspondance du Gulag (1931-1933). Trans. Luba Jurgenson (Genève: Éditions des Syrtes, 2014). In Russian Review 74, no. 3 (July 2015): 504.
  • P.J. Fritz, Karl Rahner’s Theological Aesthetics (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2014). In Cithara 54, no. 2 (November 2014).
  • M. Karnes, Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011). In Cithara 53, no. 1 (November 2013).
  • M.-J. Rubenstein, Strange Wonder. The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); invited book review for Journal of the American Academy of Religion 2013; doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lfs097
  • Seneca, M. Griffin and B. Inwood (trs.), On Benefits (Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2011); invited book review for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 
  • M.-J. Rubenstein, Strange Wonder. The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); invited book review for Journal of the American Academy of Religion2013; doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lfs097
  • A. Vos, The Philosophy of John Duns Scotus (Edinburgh University Press, 2006). In Franciscan Studies 67 (2009): 526-31.
  • V. Olejniczak Lobsien and C. Olk, Neuplatonismus und Ästhetik (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2007). In The Classical Review 59, no. 2 (2009): 436-8.
  • Stefan Büttner, Antike Ästhetik. Eine Einführung in die Prinzipien des Schönen (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2006). In The Classical Review 57, no. 2 (2007): 308-9.
  • David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite. The Aesthetics of Christian Truth. In Modern Theology 21, no. 4 (2005): 663-6.
  • Richard Viladesau, Theology and the Arts: Encountering God Through Music, Art and Rhetoric. In Modern Theology 17, no. 4 (2001): 516-8.  

Honors and Awards 

  • NEH Fellowship for editing and translating John Duns Scotus’s Reportatio IV-A (2012-2013)
  • Entry in Contemporary Authors, vol. 325 (New York etc.: Gale, 2012), 118-20
  • British Academy’s Small Research Grant, with Dr. Anne Sheppard (Royal Holloway College, University of London, 2005)
  • University of Toronto Open scholarship, six times (University of Toronto, 1991-97)
  • University of Toronto Bursary, two times (University of Toronto, 1996-97)
  • Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Bursary (University of Toronto, 1990-91)
  • George Soros Foundation scholarship (University of Oxford, New College, 1989-90)


Organized Conferences 

Areas of interest and expertise are classical languages, medieval philosophy and theology, and contemporary theological aesthetics.