ANSELM (c. 1033-1109) ,archbishop of Canterbury, was
See also:born at Aosta in Piedmont . His
See also:family was accounted
See also:noble, and was possessed of considerable
See also:property . Gundulph, his
See also:father, was by
See also:birth a Lombard, and seems to have been a man of harsh and violent
See also:temper; his
See also:mother, Ermenberga, was a prudent and virtuous woman, from whose careful religious training the
See also:young Anselm derived much benefit . At the age of fifteen he desired to enter a convent, but he could not obtain his father's consent . Disappointment brought on an illness, on his recovery from which he seems for a
See also:time to have given up his studies, and to have plunged into the gay
See also:life of the
See also:world . During this time his mother died, and his father's harshness became unbearable . He
See also:left home, and with only one attendant crossed the
See also:Alps, and wandered through
See also:Burgundy and France . Attracted by the fame of his countryman,
See also:Lanfranc, then
See also:prior of Bec, he entered
See also:Normandy, and, after spending some time at
See also:Avranches, settled at the monastery of Bec . There, at the age of twenty-seven, he became a
See also:monk; three years later, when Lanfranc was promoted to the abbacy of
See also:Caen, he was elected prior . This
See also:office he held for fifteen years, and then, in ro78, on the
See also:death of Herlwin, the
See also:warrior monk who had founded the monastery, he was made
See also:abbot . Under his
See also:rule Bec became the first seat of learning in
See also:Europe, a result due not more to his intellectual
See also:powers than to the
See also:great moral influence of his noble character and kindly discipline . It was during these quiet years at Bec that Anselm wrote his first philosophical and religious
See also:works, the dialogues on Truth and Freewill, and the two celebrated
See also:treatises, the Monologion and Proslogion .
Meanwhile the convent had been growing in
See also:wealth, as well as in reputation, and had acquired considerable property in England, which it became the
See also:duty of Anselm occasionally to visit . By his mildness of temper and unswerving rectitude, he so endeared himself to the
See also:English that he was looked upon and desired as the natural successor to Lanfranc, then archbishop of Canterbury . But on the death of that great man, the ruling
See also:William Rufus, seized the possessions and revenues of the see, and made no new
See also:appointment . About four years after, in 1092, on the invitation of Hugh,
See also:earl of Chester, Anselm with some reluctance, for he feared to be made archbishop, crossed to England . He was detained by business for nearly four months, and when about to return, was refused permission by the
See also:king . In the following
See also:year William fell
See also:ill, and thought his death was at
See also:hand . Eager to make
See also:atonement for his sin with regard to the archbishopric, he nominated Anselm to the vacant see, and after a great struggle compelled him to accept the pastoral
See also:staff of office . After obtaining
See also:dispensation from his duties in Normandy, Anselm was consecrated in 1093 . He demanded of the king, as the conditions of his retaining office, that he should give up all the possessions of the see, accept his spiritual counsel, and acknowledge Urban as
See also:pope in opposition to the
See also:Clement . He only obtained a partial consent to the first of these, and the last involved him in a serious difficulty with the king . It was a rule of the
See also:church that the consecration of metropolitans could not be completed without their receiving the gallium from the hands of the pope . Anselm, accordingly, intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam .
Nam et hoc credo, insisted that he must proceed toRome to receive the
See also:pall . But quia, nisi credidero, non intelligam." (" Nor do I seek to under-William would not permit this; he had not acknowledged Urban, stand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. and he maintained his right to prevent any pope being acknow- For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not underledged by an English subject without his permission . A great I stand.") But after the faith is held fast, the attempt must be council of churchmen and nobles, held to settle the
See also:matter, ; made to demonstrate by reason the truth of what we believe . It is wrong not to do so . "Negligentiae mihi esse videtur, si, postquam confirmati sumus in fide, non studemus quad credimus, intelligere." ("I hold it to be a failure in duty if after we have become steadfast in the faith we do not strive to understand what we believe.") To such an extent does he carry this demand for rational explanation that, at times, it seems as if he claimed for unassisted intelligence the power of penetrating even to the mysteries of the Christian faith . On the whole, however, the qualified statement is his real view; merely rational proofs are always, he affirms, to be tested by Scripture . (Cur Deus homo, i . 2 and 38; De Fide Trin . 2.) The groundwork of his theory of knowledge is contained in the
See also:tract De Veritate, in which, from the
See also:consideration of truth as in knowledge, in willing, and in things, he rises to the affirmation of an absolute truth, in which all other truth participates . This absolute truth is
See also:God himself, who is therefore the ultimate ground or principle both of things and of thought . The notion of God comes thus into the foreground of the
See also:system; before all things it is necessary that it should be made clear to reason, that it should be demonstrated to have real existence . This demonstration is the substance of the Monologion and Proslogion .
In the first of these the
See also:proof rests on the ordinary grounds of
See also:realism, and coincides to some extent with the earlier theory of Augustine, though it is carried out with singular boldness and fulness . Things, he says, are called
See also:good in a variety of ways and degrees; this would be impossible if there were not some absolute standard, some good in itself, in which all relative goods participate . Similarly with such predicates as great, just; they involve a certain greatness and
See also:justice . The very existence of things is impossible without some one Being, by whom they are . This absolute Being, this goodness, justice, greatness, is God . Anselm was not thoroughly satisfied with this reasoning; it started from a posteriori grounds, and contained several converging lines of proof . He desired to have some one
See also:short demonstration . Such a demonstration he presented in the Proslogion; it is his celebrated ontological proof . God is that being than whom none greater can conceived . Now, if that than which nothing greater cgtn Y1e conceived existed only in the intellect, it would not be the absolutely greatest, for we could add to it existence in reality . It follows, then, that the being than whom nothing greater can be conceived, i.e . God, necessarily has real existence .
This reasoning, in which Anselm partially anticipated the Cartesian philosophers, has rarely seemed satisfactory . It was opposed at the time by the monk Gaunilo, in his Lifter
See also:pro Insipiente, on the ground that we cannot pass from idea to reality . The same
See also:criticism is made by several of the later schoolmen, among others by Aquinas, and is in substance what
See also:Kant advances against all ontological proof . Anselm replied to the objections of Gaunilo in his Lifter Apologeticus . The existence of God being thus held proved, he proceeds to state the rational grounds of the Christian doctrines of creation and of the Trinity . With reference to this last, he says we cannot know God from himself, but only after the
See also:analogy of his creatures; and the
See also:special analogy used is the self-consciousness of man, its
See also:double nature, with the necessary elements, memory and intelligence, representing the relation of the Father to the Son . The mutual love of these two, proceeding from the relation they hold to one another, symbolizes the
See also:Holy Spirit . The further theological doctrines of man,
See also:original sin,
See also:free will, are
See also:developed, partly in the Monologion, partly in other mixed treatises . Finally, in his greatest
See also:work, Cur Deus homo, he undertakes to make plain, even to infidels, the rational
See also:necessity of the Christian mystery of the atonement . The theory rests on three positions: that satisfaction is necessary on account of God's
See also:honour and justice; that such satisfaction can be given only by the peculiar
See also:personality advised Anselm to submit to the king, but failed to overcome his mild and patient firmness . The matter was postponed, and William meanwhile privately sent messengers to Rome, who acknowledged Urban and prevailed on him to send a
See also:legate to the king bearing the archiepiscopal pall . A partial reconciliation was then effected, and the matter of the pall was compromised .
It was not given by the king, but was laid on the
See also:altar at Canterbury, whence Anselm took it . Little more than a year after, fresh trouble arose with the king, and Anselm resolved to proceed to Rome and seek the counsel of his spiritual father . With great difficulty he obtained a reluctant permission to leave, and in
See also:October to97 he set out for Rome . William immediately seized on the revenues of the see, and retained them to his death . Anselm was received with high honour by Urban, and at a great council held at Bari, he was put forward to defend the
See also:doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost against the representatives of the Greek Church . But Urban was too politic to embroil himself with the king of England, and Anselm found that he could obtain no substantial result . He withdrew from Rome, and spent some time at the little
See also:village of Schiavi, where he finished his
See also:treatise on the atonement, Cur Deus homo, and then retired to
See also:Lyons . In 1 Too William was killed, and
See also:Henry, his successor, at once recalled Anselm . But Henry demanded that he should again receive from him in
See also:investiture in his office of archbishop, thus making the dignity entirely dependent on the royal authority . Now, the papal rule in the matter was plain; all homage and
See also:lay investiture were strictly prohibited . Anselm represented this to the king; but Henry would not relinquish a
See also:privilege possessed by his predecessors, and proposed that the matter should be laid before the Holy See . The answer of the pope reaffirmed the
See also:law as to investiture .
See also:embassy was sent, with a similar result . Henry, however, remained
See also:firm, and at last, in 1103, Anselm and an
See also:envoy from the king set out for Rome . The pope,
See also:Paschal, reaffirmed strongly the rule of investiture, and passed
See also:sentence of excommunication against all who had infringed the law, except Henry . Practically this left matters as they were, and Anselm, who had received a
See also:message forbidding him to return to England unless on the king's terms, withdrew to Lyons, where he waited to see if Paschal would not take stronger
See also:measures . At last, in 1105, he resolved himself to excommunicate Henry . His intention was made known to the king through his
See also:sister, and it seriously alarmed him, for it was a critical
See also:period in his affairs . A
See also:meeting was arranged, and a reconciliation between them effected . In 1106 Anselm crossed to England, with power from the pope to remove the sentence of excommunication from the illegally invested churchmen . In 1107 the long dispute as to investiture was finally ended by the king resigning his formal rights . The remaining two years of Anselm's life were spent in the duties of his archbishopric . He died on the 21st of
See also:April 'too . He was canonized in 1494 by
See also:Alexander VI .
Anselm may, with some justice, be considered the first scholastic philosopher and theologian . His only great predecessor, ScotusErigena, had more of the speculative and mystical
See also:element than is consistent with a schoolman; but in Anselm are found that recognition of the relation of reason to revealed truth, and that attempt to elaborate a rational system of faith, which
See also:form the special characteristics of scholastic thought . His
See also:constant endeavour is to render the contents of the Christian consciousness clear to reason, and to develop the intelligible truths interwoven with the Christian belief . The necessary preliminary for this is the possession of the Christian consciousness . " He who does not believe will not experience; and he who has not experienced will not understand." That faith must precede knowledge is reiterated by him . " Nequc cuing quacro of the God-man; that such satisfaction is really given by the voluntary death of this infinitely valuable person . The demonstration is, in brief, this . All the actions of men are due to the furtherance of God's
See also:glory; if, then, there be sin, i.e. if God's honour be wounded, man of himself can give no satisfaction . But the justice of God demands satisfaction; and as an insult to infinite honour is in itself infinite, the satisfaction must be infinite, i.e. it must outweigh all that is not God . Such a
See also:penalty can only be paid by God himself, and, as a penalty for man, must be paid under the form of man . Satisfaction is only possible through the God-man . Now this God-man, as sinless, is exempt from the punishment of sin; His passion is therefore voluntary, not given as due .
The merit of it is therefore infinite; God's justice is thus appeased, and Hismercy may extend to man . This theory has exercised immense influence on the form of church doctrine . It is certainly an advance on the older patristic theory, in so far as it substitutes for a contest between God and Satan, a contest between the goodness and justice of God; but it puts the whole relation on a merely legal footing, gives it no ethical bearing, and neglects altogether the consciousness of the individual to be redeemed . In this respect it contrasts unfavourably with the later theory of
See also:Abelard . Anselm's speculations did not receive, in the
See also:middle ages, the respect and
See also:attention justly their due . This was probably due to their unsystematic character, for they are generally tracts or dialogues on detached questions, not elaborate treatises like the great works of
See also:Albert, Aquinas, and Erigena . They have, however, a freshness and philosophical vigour, which more than makes up for their want of system, and which raises them far above the level of most scholastic writings . Works: The best edition of St Anselm's
See also:complete works is that of Dom
See also:Gerberon (
See also:Paris, 1675); reprinted with many notes in 1712; incorporated by J .
See also:Migne in his Patrologia
See also:Latina, tomi clviii.-clix . (Paris . 1853–1854) . Migne's reprint contains many errors .
The Cur Deus home may be best studied in the
See also:editions published by.D . Nutt (
See also:London, 1885) and by Griffith (1898) . The Mariale, or poems in honour of the Blessed Virgin, has been carefully edited by P . Ragey (
See also:Tournai, 1885) ; the Monologion and Proslogion, by C . E . Ubaghs (
See also:Louvain, 1854; Eng. trans. by S . N . Deane, Chicago, 1903); the Meditationes, many of which are wrongly attributed to Anselm, have been frequently reprinted, and were included in
See also:Methuen's Library of Devotion (London, 1903) . The best criticism of Anselm's philosophical works is by J . M .
See also:Rigg (London, 1896), and Domet de Vorges (Grands Philosoghes series, Paris, 1901) . For a complete bibliography, see A .
Vacant's Dictionnaire de theologie .
ANSELME (Father Anselme of the Virgin Mary) (1625-1...
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