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That They May Love the Faith: Roger Bacon on Culture, Language, and Religion

A contemporary of Bonaventure and Aquinas in Paris, Roger Bacon was a sharp critique of the mendicant education system. Instead of preparing competent preachers versed in the cultures and languages of the peoples they served, he contended that these new orders perpetuated a scholastic model far removed from the realities of everyday pastoral life. As Franciscan missionaries returned and recounted their adventures to their confreres such as Bacon, the English brother’s perspectives on the world widened and he proposed an educational system that would promote evangelization through the study of language, geography, and world religions.

Timothy J. Johnson, Flagler College