Life and Works of Saint Anselmus

Life and Works of Saint Anselmus

The most comprehensive information about Anselmus’ life is obtained from Vita Anselmi (Life of Anselmus), written by a historian named Eadmer, who met him in 1079. Anselmus was born in Aosta in northern Italy in 1033 as a child of the Roman noble family.

His father’s name was Gundulf, and his mother’s name was Anselmus. He was educated by the priests of the Benedictine Order in Aosta, where he remained until he was 23 years old. For nearly three years he visited different places in Europe and came to Bec Monastery in 1059. Bec Monastery was administered by the famous dialectic Lanfranc (1010, Pavia-1089, Canterbury) at the time. Herluin, who was the founder and first abbot of Bec Monastery in 1078, was named as the high priest after her death. Anselmus gave a greater impetus to the Bec Abbey, which has gained fame since Lanfranc’s education. In addition to education, Anselmus, who signed important works,
wrote many of his works during this period .

His tutor at Bec, Lanfranc, was Archbishop of Canterbury, and died in 1089 while he was in office. Anselmus was appointed to his post in 1093. He made significant gains on behalf of the church in the fight between the Kingdom and the Church. When he died on April 21, 1109, he was still in office in Canterbury. His funeral was buried inside the cathedral. After a fire, his grave was again transported to the cathedral; but where he was later forgotten. In 1494 he was declared a saint and in 1720 he was awarded the title of Doctor of the Church.

Anselmus wrote some of his works during his tenure at Bec Monastery and others while he was Archbishop of Canterbury. Among his writings are the De Grammatico, the Monologion, the Proslogion of the Spirit, the De Veritate, the De Libertate Arbitrii, the De Casu Diaboli, the Power and Impotence (De Potestate). et Impotentia; De Possibilitate et Impossibilitate; and De Necessitate et Libertate.

Some of his works he wrote during his time as Archbishop of Canterbury were: Why Did God Become a Human? (Cur Deus Homo?), De Processione Spiritus Sanctus, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae and Epistola de Incarnatione Verbi.

Prepared by:  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook