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Prof. Dr. Lydia Schumacher

Research Interests:

Medieval theology and philosophy, systematic theology, philosophical theology


Lydia Schumacher is a Reader at King's College London, where she teaches ethics, theology, philosophy, and medieval thought. She received her Habilitation from the Humboldt University of Berlin. She has published 5 monographs (2 with Cambridge University Press, 2 with Routledge, 1 with Wiley-Blackwell), 4 edited volumes and 1 co-translated volume of translations. She is Principal Investigator of an ERC Starting Grant and has held numerous other prestigious research awards, such as a British Academy Fellowship. She is currently co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Franciscan Thought and editor of the Cambridge History of Early Scholastic Thought.

Project Abstract

The medieval scholastic tradition featured two main schools of thought on God's knowledge of future contingents: one stemming from Aristotle, Augustine, and Boethius, upheld by Aquinas, which sees God's knowledge of future events as synchronous or eternally present; and one, advocated by Franciscans, for whom it is asynchronous. That is to say, God's knowledge of future contingents entails knowledge of them precisely as future rather than present. My research will trace the origins of the Franciscan departure from ancient tradition to their appropriation of the metaphysics of the 11th-century Islamic philosopher Avicenna. This will require examining the little-studied founders of Franciscan thought who acknowledged those debts openly.

Curriculum vitae


Reader in Historical and Philosophical Theology, King’s College London


Senior Lecturer (Associate Prof) in Medieval Philosophy & Theology, King’s College London, Department of Theology & Religious Studies


Chancellor’s Fellow (Lecture) in Theology, University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity


Tutor in Doctrine, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University 


Lecturer in Theology (part-time), Trinity College, Oxford 


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2-5% success rate), Faculty of Theology & Religion, University of Oxford

Junior Research Fellow, Oriel College, Oxford

Selected Publications


2023. Human Nature in Early Franciscan Thought: Philosophical Background and Theological Significance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


2019. Early Franciscan Theology: Between Authority and Innovation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Edited Volumes 

Forthcoming (2025), ed. The Origins of Scholasticism at Paris (c. 1150-1250). Under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Forthcoming (2025), ed. with Andrew V. Rosato. The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Franciscan Thought. Under contract with Oxford University Press.

2022, ed. and trans. with Oleg Bychkov. A Reader in Early Franciscan Theology: The Summa Halensis. Medieval Philosophy: Texts and Studies. New York: Fordham University Press.

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