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St. Anselm Essay

1976 words - 8 pages

Does God exist? That is one of the burning questions which have been asked over the centuries. Many theologians have answered this question with a variety of responses.In the twelfth century scholars went about studying theology in much the same way as scientists studied science. Scholars took a methodical approach, and had a specific purpose. During this time theologians were held on the same level as scientists in regard to respectability, etc... There was however a conflict during this time between people. One group believed the bible was to be talked about and not debated while the other group believed that the bible should be argued and discussed in order to better our understanding of it.One of the most influential in this respect was Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109). Many of Saint Anselm's ideas have endured the test of time and are still influential to this day. Saint Anselm played such an important role during this time period that he has been labeled by many as the father of medieval scholasticism.Saint Anselm was born in Aosta Piedmont in 1033 A.D. Anselm knew he wanted to be a monk at an early age. After Anselm's father forbid him to pursue his dreams of being a monk, Anselm left home in his early twenties. Anselm moved to France where he became a monk in 1060 A.D. A few years later Anselm became prior before becoming Abbot. In 1093 A.D. Anselm was consecrated as Archbishop. The years that followed were that of tension and turmoil between Anselm and the king over matters such as money, etc... Saint Anselm took the issue to Rome where he received less help than he anticipated. During this time King William died and Saint Anselm returned to England. The new king thought very highly of Saint Anselm and never dismissed his ideas or views on important issues. Despite this, there were still disputes over matters such as money which had to be settled by Rome. Even though there were disagreements over certain matters, Saint Anselm and the king still maintained a good relationship. The remainder of Saint Anselm's life was relatively peaceful until his death in 1109 A.D.One of Saint Anselm's most celebrated works was that of the Proslogium in which he aimed to prove the existence of God. Anselm did not aim to prove God's existence because he was skeptical because there was absolutely zero doubt in his mind that there was a perfect God. I agree with the in class discussion that it was done as a form of worship or simply for fun. Anselm believed that one had to believe in order to understand rather than to understand in order to believe. Prior to the year 100 A.D., truth came solely through faith. After about 1000 A.D., truth came through faith, seeking, and understanding. According to one source the quest of God's existence is known as the ontological argument. There are three basic things to consider as to this argument. First the term "God" is defined as a being than which nothing greater can be conceived (Anselm 2). Secondly, that...

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