The Life and Works of St. Anselmus

The Life and Works of St. Anselmus

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

We obtain the most comprehensive information about Anselmus’ life from the work titled Vita Anselmi (Anselmus’s Life), written by a historian named Priest Eadmer, who met him in 1079. Anselmus, who was born in 1033 in Aosta, in the north of Italy, as a child of a Roman noble family, is therefore sometimes referred to as Anselmus of Aosta.

Anselmus, whose father’s name was Gundulf and his mother’s name was Ermenberga, was educated by the priests of the Benedictine order in Aosta, where he remained until the age of 23. He visited different places in Europe for about three years and came to Bec Monastery in 1059. Bec Abbey was then ruled by the famous dialectician Lanfranc (1010, Pavia-1089, Canterbury). In 1078, after the death of Herluin, the founder and first abbot of the Bec Monastery, he was elected abbot of this monastery, which became famous all over Europe for its education in the free arts. Anselmus gave greater impetus to Bec Abbey, which had gained a reputation for education from the time of Lanfranc. Anselmus, who carried out important studies as well as education,
wrote his work.

His mentor at Bec, Lanfranc, was archbishop of Canterbury, and died in 1089 while holding that office. Anselmus was appointed to his post in 1093. He made important gains for the church in the fight between the Kingdom of England and the church. He was still in charge of Canterbury when he died on April 21, 1109. His body was buried inside the cathedral. After a fire, his tomb was transferred to another place within the cathedral; but his whereabouts were later forgotten. He was canonized in 1494 and was awarded the title Doctor of the Church in 1720.

Anselmus wrote some of his works during his tenure at Bec Abbey, and others while he was archbishop of Canterbury. His works include About the Literacy (De Grammatico), Monologue, The Spirit’s Calling to God (Proslogion), About Truth (De Veritate), About Freedom of Choice (De Libertate Arbitrii), De Casu Diaboli, About Power and Impotence (De Potestate) et Impotentia), On Possibility and Impossibility (De Possibilitate et Impossibilitate), and On Necessity and Freedom (De Necessitate et Libertate).

Some of the works he wrote while he was archbishop of Canterbury include: Why Did God Become Man? (Cur Deus Homo?), De Processione Spiritus Sanctus, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae, and Epistola de Incarnatione Verbi.

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