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

Lydia Schumacher

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Book Description

April 18, 2011 0470657421 978-0470657423 1
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

Editorial Reviews


“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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