Andrew Belfield. assistant professor of theology & Franciscan studies at St. Bonaventure University.

To study theology is to ask questions of & about God & to think critically about possible answers. Students of theology don’t do this unaided; in the archive that is the history of Christian theology sits an enormous catalog of methods, questions, approaches, answers, & discussions from a diversity of thinkers, traditions, & communities.

Bonaventure & Thomas Aquinas in Alexander of Halesʼs classroom
Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, & classmates in Alexander of Halesʼs classroom, from a woodcut appearing in a 1647 edition of a commentary on the book of Revelation attributed to Alexander

My teaching aims, in part, to show students how to explore that archive & put its materials to use as they navigate these fundamental questions of human existence & divine reality. In this way, I convey to my students the wide diversity of Christian thinking about God while also modeling intellectual work as always embedded in a community or tradition.

Ultimately, as a teacher I invite my students to inhabit, if only provisionally, this community of thinking about God: asking its questions, assessing its answers, & communicating these ideas effectively.

I teach courses on Francis & Clare of Assisi & Catholic theology for SBU’s undergraduate curriculum, along with courses for majors & minors in theology & Franciscan studies. So far Iʼve taught the following courses:

In the spring Iʼm teaching two sections each of “The Way of Francis & Clare” & “Catholic Theology”; the latter especially has been substantially revised from the last few times Iʼve taught the course. Iʼm in the process of developing a course on the life & writings of St. Bonaventure for next academic year &, the year after that, a course on theology & film.