ST. ANSELM

Born in 1033 in Aosta, Saint Anselm was a he was the son of a healthy nobleman. Saint Anselm decided that there was no much better life than apart from the monastic one. Therefore, he wanted to be a monk but his wish was denied by the local monastery abbot. He studied at Bec and found his childhood attraction to monastic life a reawakening calling. He entered a monastic life in 1060 as per the decisions of the Archbishop of Rouen, Mauritius and Lanfranc.

During the 11th century, St. Anselm was among the most significant thinkers of the Christian philosophy. In philosophy, he is highly remembered for his discovery and articulation of the ontological argument. On the other hand, he is remembered in theology because of his doctrines of atonement. However, Saint Anselm’s work expands to other important theological and philosophical matters, such as the understanding of the unity and elements of the godly nature, the involvement of the will in free choice and its complexity, interworking of the divine grace and human action an willing, the origin of vices and virtues and their nature and the origin, condition and implications of sin.

Unlike his contemporaries, Saint Anselm employed argumentations that were not directly dependent on the Sacred Scripture, traditions and the Christian doctrine. He also built up a refined language analyses used in investigation and discussion of theological and philosophical issues, emphasizing the need to understand the meaning of each and every term used instead of being misled by verbal forms. To supplement his work, Saint Anselm gave a discussion and an exemplified resolution of apparent paradoxes or contradictions by making proper distinctions.

Due to these reasons, he was accorded a title, Scholastic Doctor because his approaches to theological and philosophical issues contribute and represent the Christian Scholasticism of the early days. Originality is one of the important features that characterized Anselm’s work. However, the originality was not limited to the dialogues and treatises. His devotional meditations and prayers were adapted from traditional to new forms. In conclusion, Saint Anselm was neither skeptical in questioning nor undermining human possibilities of argumentation and reason in his work. Instead, he argued that not every object that the intellect tries to engage leads to problems but greater understanding of the will of God. Moreover, Saint Anselm’s work contained some theological as well as philosophical reasoning. This has seen many Anselmian texts availed to scholars across the globe.

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