Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) :: essays research papers
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) Table of Contents (Clicking on the links below will take you to that part of this article) * Life * Philosophical Writings * Theology Life The father of medieval scholasticism and one of the most eminent of English prelates was born at Aost Piedmont in 1033. Anselm died at Canterbury, England on April 21, 1109. While a boy he wished to be a monk, but his father forbade it. When he was about twenty-three Anselm left home to live in Burgundy and France. After three years he went to Bec in Normandy where his celebrated countryman, Lanfranc, was prior. Here he became a monk (1060). He succeeded Lanfranc as prior in 1063, and became abbot in 1078. The abbey had possessions in England, which called Anselm frequently to that country. He was the general choice for archbishop of Canterbury when Lanfranc died (1089). However, the king, William Rufus, preferred to keep the office vacant, and apply its revenues to his own use. In 1093 William fell ill and, literally forced Anselm to receive an appointment at his hands. He was consecrated December 4 of that year. The next four years witnessed a continual struggle between king and ar chbishop over money matters, rights, and privileges. Anselm wished to carry his case to Rome, and in 1097, with much difficulty, obtained permission from the king to go. At Rome he was honored and flattered, but he obtained little practical help in his struggle with the king. He returned to England as soon is he heard of the death of William in 1100. But a difficulty arose over lay investiture and homage from clerics for their benefices. Thought a mild and meek man, Anselm had adopted the Gregorian views of the relation between Church and State, and adhered to them with the steadiness of conscientious conviction. The king, though inclined to be conciliatory, was equally firm from motives of self-interest. He had a high regard for Anselm, always treated him with much consideration, and personal relations between them were generally friendly. Nevertheless there was much vexatious disputing, several fruitless embassies were sent to Rome, and Anselm himself went thither in 1103, remaini ng abroad till 1106. His quarrel with the king was settled by compromise in 1107 and the brief remaining period of his life was peaceful. He was canonized in 1494. Back to Table of Contents Philosophical Writings 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.