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St. Bonaventure professors edit new book exploring Franciscan artistic tradition

Dec 12, 2019

A new textbook edited by two St. Bonaventure University professors is being hailed as a major academic achievement in the area of Franciscan theology and art.

“Aesthetic Theology in the Franciscan Tradition,” released in November by Routledge, was edited by Fr. Xavier Seubert, O.F.M., professor emeritus of art and theology, and Dr. Oleg Bychkov, professor of theology.

Subtitled “The Senses and the Experience of God in Art,” the book investigates the aesthetic theology embedded in the Franciscan artistic tradition.

The novelty of the approach is in applying concepts gleaned from Franciscan textual sources to create a deeper understanding of how art in all its sensual forms was foundational to the Franciscan milieu.

Chapters range from studies of statements about aesthetics and the arts in theological textual sources to examples of visual, auditory, and tactile arts communicating theological ideas found in texts. The essays cover not only European art and textual sources, but also Franciscan influences in the Americas found in both texts and artifacts.

The book also includes several essays on Franciscan art and theology in the Americas, in traditionally Hispanic areas, which is a major innovation in the field, Bychkov said.

Routledge is the world’s leading academic publisher in the humanities and social sciences. The company publishes thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2019, St. Bonaventure was named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.