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Bonaventura, Enzo Joseph


BONAVENTURA, ENZO JOSEPH (1891–1948), psychologist. Born in Pisa, Bonaventura was brought to Florence at an early age. Enzo was brought up without any notion of Judaism, but falling under the influence of S.H. Margulies, rabbi of Florence, had himself circumcised when he returned from World War i. In 1922 he was appointed professor of psychology at the University of Florence, where he founded and directed the psychological laboratory. Leader of the Zionist Society of Florence, he settled in Palestine in 1938 and was appointed professor of psychology at the Hebrew University. He was killed in April 1948 during an Arab attack on a convoy on the way to the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. Bonaventura's views of psychology united the classical and the modern schools of thought, and this was apparent in his scientific work, which combined the pursuit of detail within a broad philosophical framework. Bonaventura employed the experimental method in his research into the problems of time, perception, movement, attention, volition, and conation; he also investigated the problems of mental development, especially in retarded children. His most important works in Italian are L'educazione della volontà (1927), Il problema psicologico del tempo (1929), Psicologia dell'età evolutiva (1930), and La psicoanalisi (1938). His important Hebrew works are La-Psychologyah shel Gil ha-Ne'urim ve-ha-Hitbaggerut ("Psychology of Youth and Adolescence," 1943) and Hora'ot le-Morim u-le-Meḥannekhim le-Hadrakhat ha-No'ar bi-Veḥirat ha-Mikẓo'a ("Instructions to Teachers and Educators in Helping Young People Choose a Profession," 1947).

[Haim Ormian]

Bonaventura's father, arnaldo (1862–1957), was a noted musicologist. He studied law and literature at Pisa but soon devoted himself to musicology. He became librarian at the music section of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale at Florence, and afterward director and librarian at the Instituto Luigi Cherubini in the same town where he also taught music history and aesthetics. Bonaventura's many works include Manuale di storia della musica (1898) and Storia e letteratura del pianoforte (1918), both of which were reprinted in 13 editions, as well as critical biographies of Paganini, Verdi, Pasquini, Puccini, Boccherini, and Rossini. He also edited the compositions of Peri, Frescobaldi, Strozzi, and Caccini.


Grove, Dict; Riemann-Gurlitt; mgg; Baker, Biog Dict; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 187–8. add. bibliography: S. Gori Savellini, Enzo Bonaventura (1891–1948); una singolare vicenda culturale dalla psicologia sperimentale alla psicoanalisi e alla psicologia applicata (1990).

[Claude Abravanel]

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