Dr Lydia Schumacher (BA, MTh, PhD, FHEA)

Chancellor's Fellow specialising in Historical and Systematic Theology


Dr Lydia Schumacher became Chancellor's Fellow in Catholic and Moral Theology in September 2014. Prior to taking up her appointment in Edinburgh, she held the following posts:


2011-14: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford University and at Oriel College

2013-14: Tutor in Doctrine, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University

2012-14: Lecturer in Theology, Trinity College, Oxford University

2009-11: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at the Institut Catholique de Paris and Oxford University



Responsibilities & affiliations

Director of Recruitment

External appointments

Doctrine Committee, Scottish Episcopal Church

Young Academy of Europe

Advisory Board, International Journal of Philosophy and Theology

Undergraduate teaching

Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (level 8)

God in Philosophy from Plato to Hume (level 8)

Key Debates in Modern Theology (level 10)

Postgraduate teaching

Creeds, Councils and Controversies: Patristic and Medieval

Key Thinkers in Science and Religion (Aquinas)

History of Science and Religion in the Christian Tradition (Bacon)

Medieval Religious Thought

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Dr Schumacher's research interests fall into two main areas. She warmly welcomes inquiries from PhD students who wish to research in these or other related areas. 

1. Medieval Theology and Philosophy, especially Augustine and his reception; Anselm of Canterbury; the long 12th century; Thomas Aquinas; 13th century Franciscans.

Research on these topics provides a foundation or resource for constructive theological or philosophical work in the following areas:

2. Systematic Theology, Philosophical Theology, Philosophy of Religion, Christian Ethics (especially virtue ethics), Philosophy (especially epistemology).

Current research interests

In 2015, Dr Schumacher published a two-volume work of philosphical theology, which draws on the work of Thomas Aquinas: Her current research focuses on the thirteenth-century founders of the Franciscan intellectual tradition, particularly Alexander of Hales, Jean de la Rochelle, and the authors of the collaborative 'Franciscan Summa' (Summa Halensis), who flourished between c. 1220-1245. In addition to numerous articles on early Franciscan thought, she is preparing a monograph on early Franciscan theology.

Project activity

Dr Schumacher is Co-Investigator on the following Research Projects:

-The Love in Religion Project, organized by Prof Paul Fiddes, Oxford University: http://loveinreligion.org/

-John Duns Scotus Research Network, Glasgow University

-Alexander of Hales Research Network, organized by Dr Dominique Poirel, Institute for the History and Research of Texts (IRHT), a division of the National Centre for Scientific Reserach (CNRS), France

-Steering Committee, International Congress on Alexander of Hales