Table of Contents


Challenges in Contemporary Theology

Series Editors: Gareth Jones and Lewis Ayres

Canterbury Christ Church University College, UK and Durham University, UK

Challenges in Contemporary Theology is a series aimed at producing clear orientations in, and research on, areas of “challenge” in contemporary theology. These carefully co-ordinated books engage traditional theological concerns with mainstreams in modern thought and culture that challenge those concerns. The “challenges” implied are to be understood in two senses: those presented by society to contemporary theology, and those posed by theology to society.


These Three are One: The Practice of Trinitarian Theology

David S. Cunningham

After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy

Catherine Pickstock

Mystical Theology: The Integrity of Spirituality and Theology

Mark A. McIntosh

Engaging Scripture: A Model for Theological Interpretation

Stephen E. Fowl

Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ

William T. Cavanaugh

Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God

Eugene F. Rogers, Jr

On Christian Theology

Rowan Williams

The Promised End: Eschatology in Theology and Literature

Paul S. Fiddes

Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy, and Gender

Sarah Coakley

A Theology of Engagement

Ian S. Markham

Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology

Gerard Loughlin

Scripture and Metaphysics: Aquinas and the Renewal of Trinitarian Theology

Matthew Levering

Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective

David Burrell

Keeping God’s Silence

Rachel Muers

Christ and Culture

Graham Ward

Theology in the Public Square: Church, Academy and Nation

Gavin D’Costa

Rewritten Theology: Aquinas After His Readers

Mark D. Jordan

God’s Companions: Reimagining Christian Ethics

Samuel Wells

The Trial of the Witnesses: The Rise and Decline of Postliberal Theology

Paul J. DeHart

Theology and Families

Adrian Thatcher

The Shape of Theology

David F. Ford

The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory

Jonathan Tran

In Adam’s Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin

Ian A. McFarland

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

Lydia Schumacher

Title page

For my parents,

Richard and Pam

Realities … must be learned and sought out not
from names, but rather through themselves.

Plato, Cratylus 439B

Realities signified are to be valued more highly than their signs.

Augustine, De magistro 9.25

It would be unreasonable and silly to look at words rather
than at the power of the meanings. Anyone seeking to
understand divine things should never do this, for this is the
procedure followed by those who … do not wish to know
what a particular phrase means or how to convey its
sense through equivalent but more efficient phrases.

Pseudo-Dionysius, De divinis nominibus 708C


I am extremely grateful to those who have commented on aspects or all of this manuscript at different stages in its development, including Nicholas Adams, Lewis Ayres, Olivier Boulnois, David Burrell C.S.C., Mark D. Jordan, Fergus Kerr O.P., John Montag S.J., Isabelle Moulin, Sara Parvis, Oliver O’Donovan, Karla Pollmann, Janet Soskice, and the Archbishop Rowan Williams.

I would like to say a very special thanks to my parents, the Revd Richard and Pamela Schumacher. Together, my parents have been the greatest source of every conceivable kind of help in the years leading up to the completion of this book, which is a testimony to the immense and unwavering power of their love for God, for one another, and for me.

I wish to acknowledge the institutions that helped make it financially feasible for me to undertake this project: the University of Edinburgh New College School of Divinity, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Catholic Foundation of Scotland.

Finally, I would like to thank the editors and publishers who have granted me permission to reproduce material from the following articles here:

Chapter 1: “The Theo-Logic of St. Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge by Divine Illumination” (Augustinian Studies)

Chapter 2: “The Lost Legacy of Anselm’s Argument: Rethinking the Purpose of Proofs for the Existence of God” (Modern Theology)

Chapter 7: “The Logic of Faith: Prolegomena to a Theological Theory of Knowledge” (New Blackfriars)


In preparing this work, I used the following editions of the primary texts:

Anselm. Sancti Anselmi cantuariensis archiepiscopi Opera omnia, 6 vols. Edited by F.S. Schmitt. Edinburgh: T. Nelson and Sons, 1946–61.

Augustine. Confessiones. Edited by Lucas Verheijen in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vol. 27. Turnhout: Brepols, 1981.

Augustine. Contra academicos, De ordine, De beata vita, De magistro, De libero arbitrio. Edited by W.M. Green in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vol. 29. Turnhout: Brepols, 1970.

Augustine. De civitate Dei. Edited by B. Dombart and A. Kalb in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vols 47–8. Turnhout: Brepols, 1955.

Augustine. De doctrina Christiana. Edited by Joseph Martin in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vol. 27. Turnhout: Brepols, 1962.

Augustine. De Genesi ad litteram. Edited by P. Agaesse and A. Solignac in Oeuvres de St. Augustin vols 48–9. Paris: Desclee de Brouwer, 1970.

Augustine. De Trinitate. Edited by W.J. Mountain and Fr Glorie in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vols 50–50A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1968.

Augustine. De fide rerum quae non videntur, De utilitate credendi, Enchiridion in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vol. 46. Turnhout: Brepols, 1969.

Augustine. Retractationes. Edited by Almut Mutzenbecher in Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina vol. 46. Turnhout: Brepols, 1984.

Bonaventure. Doctoris Seraphici S. Bonaventurae opera omnia, 10 vols. Florence: Quaracchi, 1882–1902.

t. 1, Comm. In I Libr. Sent. (1882).

t. 2, Comm. In II Libr. Sent. (1885).

t. 3, Comm. In III Libr. Sent. (1887).

t. 4, Comm. In IV Libr. Sent. (1889).

Bonaventure. Collationes in Hexaëmeron et Bonaventuriana quaedam selecta. Florence: Quaracchi, 1938.

Bonaventure. Tria opuscula Seraphici Doctoris S. Bonaventurae. Breviloquium, Itinerarium mentis in Deum, et De reductione artium ad theologiam. Florence: Quaracchi, 1938.

Henrici de Gandavo. Opera Omnia, 38 vols. Edited by G.A. Wilson et al. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1978–2008.

Olivi, Peter John. Quaestiones in secundum librum Sententiarum, 3 vols. Edited by Bernard Jansen S.J. Florence: Quaracchi, 1922–26.

Scotus, John Duns. Opera omnia. Vatican: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1950.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 60 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.



Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina

The works of Augustine are abbreviated as follows:

beata v.

De beata vita


De civitate Dei



c. mend.

Contra mendacium

div. qu.

De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus

doct. chr.

De doctrina christiana





Gn. litt.

De Genesi ad litteram

lib. arb.

De libero arbitrio


De magistro


De mendacio


De ordine




De Trinitate



util. cred.

De utilitate credendi

The works of Anselm are abbreviated as follows:


Cur Deus Homo


De concordia


De veritate





The works of Bonaventure are abbreviated as follows:



C. Mag.

Christus unus omnium Magister


Collationes in Hexaemeron

ev. qu.

Quaestiones disputatae de perfectione evangelica


Itinerarium mentis in Deum


Legenda major

red. art.

De reductione artium ad theologiam

s. C. qu.

Quaestiones disputatae de scientia Christi

trin. qu.

Quaestiones disputatae de mysterio trinitatis

The works of Thomas Aquinas are abbreviated as follows:


Summa Theologiae