Reality as goodness. The highest good


This step deals with the nature of value and the highest good in human life. After speaking about being (cf. previous step), Bonaventure now discusses the nature of reality in the aspect of goodness, or reality as good. The highest good, for Bonaventure, is God, or the principle that lies beyond our personal life. A particular kind of good and perfection—the "Christian good"—lies in the nature of  Christ and the contemplation of Christ. Taking into consideration the Bonaventurian idea of the true that always needs to be grounded in the good, this step teaches us that all learning must be directed towards achieving some ideal of value and finally the “eternal goodness,” “which forcibly strikes the eyes of our mind with awesome admiration.”


The nature of goodness and value

Bonaventure, Itinerarium 6.2, 4-5, 7

Text of Step 6, transl. by O. Bychkov


Basic human value

Dickinson, Emily. “Apparently With No Surprise.” “A Fly Buzzed By.” “Because I Could Not Stop For Death.” Poems. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1955.


The "Christian good" and the Christian perspective on value (Christ as the highest value)

New Testament. Matthew, 5, 6, 7

T.S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi.” Complete Poems 1909-62. NY: Harcourt Brace Javonovich, 1991.

Clare, Testament


Contemporary consumer society values

DeLillo, Don. White Noise. NY: Viking, 1985, chapters 1-6, 10.