Saturday, April 01, 2006

Anselm of Canterbury

Frank came up with a suggestion that got me interested. Yeah, I know what y’all saying; “How could Frank come up with something interesting?” But he did an internet test on What Theologian Are You? And published his results. I decided to do the same and discovered I was Anselm.

Who is Anselm I thought? Frank suggested I do a search online and find out about him, and all the other great theologians on offer – so I am, and I’m starting with Anselm, of course!

Although born at Aosta in Alpine Italy and educated in Normandy, Anselm became a Benedictine monk, teacher, and abbot at Bec and continued his ecclesiastical career in England. Having been appointed the second Norman archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, Anselm secured the Westminster Agreement of 1107, guaranteeing the (partial) independence of the church from the civil state.

In a series of short works such as De Libertate Arbitrii (On Free Will), De Casu Diaboli (The Fall of the Devil), and the lengthier dialogue Cur Deus Homo (Why God became Man), Anselm propounded a satisfaction theory of the atonement, upon which the incarnation promises relief from the strict demands of divine justice. He defended a notion of the relation between philosophy and theology that, like Augustine's, emphasized the methodological priority of faith over reason, since truth is to be achieved only through "fides quaerens intellectum" ("faith seeking understanding"). Anselm's combination of Christianity, neoplatonic metaphysics, and Aristotelean logic in the form of dialectical question-and-answer was an important influence in the development scholasticism during the next several centuries.

Hhhmmm, I think I’m gonna have to do some more research before making any serious comment – hey, I might even learn something and become less of a heretic

1 comment:

servant said...

Welcome to the world of Christian history and Christian intellectual thought.... it's a big world and you'll learn a lot! :o)

You'll never find the end of it.