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

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

Lydia Schumacher

ISBN: 978-1-444-39508-2 March 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 264 Pages

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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

Acknowledgments ix

Editions x

Abbreviations xii

Introduction 1

Augustine on Divine Illumination 4

Interpretations of Divine Illumination in Augustine’s Thought 7

Interpretations of Divine Illumination in Medieval Thought 14

Re-interpreting the History of Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge 16

1 Augustine 25

Introduction 25

The Doctrine of God 29

Creation in the Image of God 30

The Fall and Redemption 39

Conforming to the Image of God 42

Divine Illumination 58

2 Anselm 66

Introduction 66

The Image of God 74

Conforming to the Image of God 76

Divine Illumination 82

Anselm the Augustinian 83

3 Divine Illumination in Transition 85

Introduction 85

New Schools 85

New Translations 88

New Religious Challenges 100

New Religious Orders 101

New Intellectual Traditions 103

4 Bonaventure 110

Introduction 110

The Doctrine of God 117

Creation in the Image of God 121

The Fall and Redemption 132

Conforming to the Image of God 135

Divine Illumination 141

Bonaventure the Augustinian? 143

5 Aquinas 154

Introduction 154

The Image of God 160

Conforming to the Image of God 165

Divine Illumination 173

Aquinas the Augustinian 178

6 Divine Illumination in Decline 181

Introduction 181

Peter John Olivi 182

Henry of Ghent 186

John Duns Scotus 194

Augustinian and Franciscan Thought 201

Franciscan and Modern Thought 208

7 The Future of Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge 217

Introduction to a Theological Theory of Knowledge 217

Reason in a Theological Theory of Knowledge 223

Faith in a Theological Theory of Knowledge 226

Conclusion 234

Index 240

“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)