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Exploring Science and Franciscan Intellecual Tradition

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Knowledge for Love: Franciscan Science as the Pursuit of Wisdom, by Br. Keith Douglass Warner, OFM, a book about science and Franciscan intellectual tradition, was released by Franciscan Institute Publications on Sept. 1.

The 96-page book by Br. Keith of St. Barbara Province, director of education for Santa Clara University in California, explores science and religion through the vocation and work of three Franciscan scientists.

They are Bartholomew the Englishman, a friar who taught Franciscans scientific knowledge to prepare them for preaching in foreign lands; Roger Bacon, who conducted research into the natural world to advance scientific knowledge in service of the Church; and Bernardino de Sahagún, who investigated the life, world view and culture of the Aztec people in Mexico.

The book, distributed earlier this month by the Provincial Office to HNP friars, was laid out by Maria Hayes of the HNP Communications Office, a 2012 St. Bonaventure University graduate who freelances for the institute.

“Coming from a lay person’s perspective, I really enjoyed reading it,” said Hayes, who joined the HNP staff this summer. “The Franciscan purpose for education is both interesting and refreshing, especially in regards to the sciences. People think that science and religion don’t get along, but they do.”

This book is the eighth in the Franciscan Heritage Series intended to encompass topics that connect the Franciscan intellectual tradition with contemporary thought, according to the publisher. Previous volumes have presented an overview of the tradition, discussed dimensions of creation and Christian anthropology in Franciscan theology, and the Johannine theology of the San Damiano crucifix.

Br. Keith has a master’s degree in spirituality from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and a doctorate in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The book can be ordered from several online bookstores, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as from the Franciscan Institute Publications website at www.franciscanpublications.com. The book’s cost is $12.

Franciscan Institute Publications is the book and journal publishing arm of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University.

 Wendy Healy, a freelance writer in Connecticut, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.