St. Bonaventure University


Bychkov, Oleg V.


Theology and Franciscan Studies
School of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Theology
Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies Program
Editor of Cithara
Office phone: (716) 375-2443
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De La Roche 14
  • 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.