Arnau de Vilanova’s theological ideas evolved over his lifetime. He had taken an interest in theology and had even taken a few courses at the school of the Dominicans in Montpellier and studied with Ramon Martí in Barcelona, but his interest had gone no further. Master Arnau was over the age of 50 when wrote his first theological work. He himself explained that he had a profound spiritual experience. From then on, religious concerns and their consequences came to the foreground in his life.

The evolution in Arnau’s religious thinking can be divided into four stages:

  1. Pre-espiritual,
  2. Proto-spiritual,
  3. Spiritualeschatological,
  4. Genuinely spiritual.
Pugio Fidei
Illustration: Pugio fidei, The most important work by Ramon Martí, with whom Arnau trained, Leipzig 1687. Source: Wikimedia.