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Anselm of Canterbury : The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)

Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works 
by Saint Anselm

 

Saint Anselm : A Portrait in a Landscape

Saint Anselm : A Portrait in a Landscape
by Richard W. Southern

 

Confessions of a Rational Mystic : Anselm's Early Writings (Purdue University Series in the History of Philosophy)

Confessions of a Rational Mystic: Anselm's Early Writings 
by Gregory Schufreider

Saint Anselm  1033 - 1109 

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Anselm : The Joy of Faith (Crossroad Spiritual Legacy Series)
Saint Anselm Biography
Features a biography of the prolific theologian and reports on his conflicts with the secular leaders over the issue of Church versus State.

 

Saint Anselm Biography

Excerpt:

Anselm is the most important Christian theologian in the West between Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. His two great accomplishments are his Proslogium (in which he undertakes to show that Reason requires that men should believe in God), and his Cur Deus Homo? (in which he undertakes to show that Divine Love responding to human rebelliousness requires that God should become a man).

He was born in Italy about 1033, and in 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office, first as prior of Bec, and later as Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

Saint Anselm Biography

Excerpt:

Anselm was an Italian born, Benedictine English philosophical theologian. He is best known for his ontological argument for the existence of God, and the satisfaction theory of the Atonement.

His Monologion and Proslogion both deal extensively with his ontological proofs for God's existence, and the hierarchical order of the universe.

 

Anselm Biography

Excerpt:

As a metaphysician Anselm was a realist, and one of his earliest works, De fide Trinitatis, was an attack on the doctrine of the Trinity as expounded by the nominalist Roscelin. His most celebrated works are the Monologium and Proslogium, both aiming to prove the existence and nature of God. The Cur deus homo, in which he develops views of atonement and satisfaction which are still held by orthodox theologians. The two first named were written at Bec. The last was begun in England " in great tribulation of heart," and finished at Schiavi, a mountain villaffe of Apulia, where Anselm enjoyed a few months of rest in 1098. His meditations and prayers are edifying and often highly impressive. In the Monologium he argues that from the idea of being there follows the idea of a highest and absolute, i.e. self-existent Being, from which all other being derives its existences revival of the ancient cosmological argument...

 

Anselm on the Existence of God

Excerpt:

Come on now little man, get away from your worldly occupations for a while, escape from your tumultuous thoughts. Lay aside your burdensome cares and put off your laborious exertions. Give yourself over to God for a little while, and rest for a while in Him. Enter into the cell of your mind, shut out everything except God and whatever helps you to seek Him once the door is shut. Speak now, my heart, and say to God, "I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek."

Come on then, my Lord God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. Lord, if you are not here, where shall I find you? If, however, you are everywhere, why do I not see you here? But certainly you dwell in inaccessible light. And where is that inaccessible light? Or how do I reach it? Or who will lead me to it and into it, so that I can see you in it? And then by what signs, under what face shall I seek you? I have never seen you, my Lord God, or known your face. What shall I do, Highest Lord, what shall this exile do, banished far from you as he is? What should your servant do, desperate as he is for your love yet cast away from your face? He longs to see you, and yet your face is too far away from him. He wants to come to you, and yet your dwelling place is unreachable. He yearns to discover you, and he does not know where you are. He craves to seek you, and does not know how to recognize you. Lord, you are my Lord and my God, and I have never seen you. You have made me and nurtured me, given me every good thing I have ever received, and I still do not know you. I was created for the purpose of seeing you, and I still have not done the thing I was made to do...

 

Letters from Matilda, Queen of England, to Saint Anselm

Excerpt:

There is almost no doubt that you thwart nature in your daily fasting. This is not unknown to me. What amazes me most is that after long fasts you take your usual food, not because nature requires it, but because someone on your personal staff insists. Frequent reports from reliable witnesses have persuaded me of the truth of this. I have also learned that your intake of food is so scanty that you might be said to have done a violence to nature by deliberately weakening it rather than by attacking it directly.

 
Medieval Sourcebook:  Anselm of Canterbury: How to Treat a Convert

Excerpt:

With the inmost affection of my heart I order you and beg your religion to take care of this Robert, with that joyful piety and pious joy with which all Christians ought to help and assist one fleeing from Judaism to Christianity.  Let no poverty or other accident which we can avert cause him to regret having left his parents and their Law for Christ's sake. . . . Do not let him and his little family suffer any harsh want, but let him rejoice that he has passed from perfidy to the true faith, and prove by our piety that our faith is nearer to God than the Jewish.  For I would prefer, if necessary, that there should be spent in this all that belongs to me from the rents of the archdeaconry, and even much more, rather than that he who has fled out of the hands of the devil to the servants of God should live in misery amongst us. . . . 

 

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