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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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.nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;
  • 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 thisnbsp;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

Excerpt

This is a book about the history and future of the theory of knowledge by divine illumination that St. Augustine appropriated from the Platonic tradition in the fourth century, baptized for Christian purposes, and passed down to subsequent medieval thinkers, who generally regarded his account as intelligible and authoritative, at least until the end of the thirteenth century. At that time, members of the Franciscan order who had previously claimed to be the foremost champions of Augustine’s intellectual tradition pronounced illumination theory untenable.

In inquiring into the history of the illumination account, I have three main goals in mind. The first is to identify what Augustine meant when he spoke of divine illumination as the condition of possibility of all human knowledge and what it would mean to update his views on this topic in a later context. The second is to challenge the common scholarly assumption that thirteenth-century Franciscans, specifically Bonaventure, were Augustine’s chief representatives in the later Middle Ages. This argument is crucial to accomplishing the third goal of my historical inquiry, which is to identify why Franciscans after Bonaventure abandoned illumination, such that a theory of knowledge like Augustine’s is not advocated in the present.

Throughout the historical part of the study, my arguments turn on the contention that any given theory of knowledge by divine illumination derives its meaning from the theological assumptions that underlie it and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.