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Divine Illumination: The History and Future of Augustine's Theory of Knowledge

ISBN: 978-0-470-65742-3
264 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Divine Illumination: The History and Future of Augustine
In Divine Illumination, Schumacher offers an original approach to Augustine's theory of divine illumination, the precondition of all human knowledge. Written with great originality and clarity, she traces the idea through medieval thinkers, into early modernity, and reveals its importance in modern theories of knowledge.   
  • Takes an original approach to reading Augustine's theory of divine illumination and shows how the theory was transformed and reinterpreted in medieval philosophy and theology
  • Presents a groundbreaking way of thinking about the writings of Augustine, Anselm, Bonaventure, Aquinas, and John Duns Scotus, and relates this to cutting edge questions in contemporary philosophy of religion, especially epistemology
  • Is a significant contribution to the history of philosophy but also to contemporary debates on faith and reason
  • Lays the foundation for future efforts to come to terms with the contemporary epistemological situation and its inherent problems
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Acknowledgments.

Editions.

Abbreviations.

Introduction.

Augustine on Divine Illumination.

Interpretations of Divine Illumination in Augustine’s Thought.

Interpretations of Divine Illumination in Medieval Thought.

Re-interpreting the History of Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge.

1. Augustine.

Introduction.

The Doctrine of God.

Creation in the Image of God.

The Fall and Redemption.

Conforming to the Image of God.

Divine Illumination.

2. Anselm.

Introduction.

The Image of God.

Conforming to the Image of God.

Divine Illumination.

Anselm the Augustinian.

3. Divine Illumination in Transition.

Introduction.

New Schools.

New Translations.

New Religious Challenges.

New Religious Orders.

New Intellectual Traditions.

4. Bonaventure.

Introduction.

The Doctrine of God.

Creation in the Image of God.

The Fall and Redemption.

Conforming to the Image of God.

Divine Illumination.

Bonaventure the Augustinian?.

5. Aquinas.

Introduction.

The Image of God.

Conforming to the Image of God.

Divine Illumination.

Aquinas the Augustinian.

6. Divine Illumination in Decline.

Introduction.

Peter John Olivi.

Henry of Ghent.

John Duns Scotus.

Augustinian and Franciscan Thought.

Franciscan and Modern Thought.

7. The Future of Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge.

Introduction to a Theological Theory of Knowledge.

Reason in a Theological Theory of Knowledge.

Faith in a Theological Theory of Knowledge.

Conclusion.

Index.

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Lydia Schumacher is Research Fellow and a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford. She has published articles in The Grandeur of Reason: Religion, Tradition, and Universalism (2009); and in The Expository Times, Modern Theology, Lyceum, New Blackfriars and Augustinian Studies. She works as an editor on the forthcoming Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine (2011).
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“Taking Augustine’s Platonism seriously thus affords a better understanding of Augustine’s theory of knowledge than taking either Aristotelian or Avicennan notions of the intellect as normative.”  (Scottish Journal of Theology, 1 July 2014)

“Nonetheless, she has written an important and stimulating book.”  (Reviews in Religion and Theology, 1 March 2013)

"This volume merits attention from patristic scholars, medievalists, systematic theologians, and philosophers alike."  (Religious Studies Review, 1 June 2012) 

“Schumacher could very well recommend the epistemological itinerary of the de Trinitate without the challenge of re-writing western intellectual history. I look forward to her next book, which promises to do just that.”  (Modern Theology, 1 January 2013)

"An important and ground-breaking study which links growing interest in Augustine and medieval philosophy with cutting edge questions in contemporary philosophy of religion, particularly concerning epistemology and the 'rationality' of religion.
Janet Soskice, University of Cambridge

"In this lucidly argued and solidly documented study Schumacher uncovers the roots of problems notoriously besetting modern theories of knowledge in conflicting medieval interpretations of Augustine’s assumptions about knowledge as divine illumination: an intriguing thesis, which she handles with delicacy and flair."
Fergus Kerr, O.P. University of Edinburgh

"Challenges the traditional history of theories of knowledge. A bold and provocative reading."
Olivier Boulnois, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (University of Paris, Sorbonne)

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