Selected Figures of Scholastic Tradition I
6. Anselm of Canterbury
The end of 8th and the whole of the 9th century was a period of extensive cultural renewal and rich literary production. Old texts were evaluated and rewritten, as were commentaries, encyclopaedias and glosses. It could be said that this period left a whole Latin literary corpus. The nature of the literature of the 10th century is already different. It is not organically related to the school system nor to the evaluation of the old anymore. Its characteristics are self-confidence and self-reflection.
Despite the fact that the 11th century is often overlooked as a transitional century between the 10th century Ottonian Renaissance and the significant 12th century, from a philosophical point of view, we have to pay attention to it and take a closer examination of some of its scholars. ← 61 | 62 →
An important scholar of the 11th century was Anselm of Canterbury (1033 – 1109) who is rightfully considered to be the “father of scholastics” and, after Eriugena, was the first real philosopher of the Middle Ages. Anselm was the most important student of Lanfranc in a prominent monastic school in Bec and later he became its prior. From 1093, Anselm was the archbishop of Canterbury.
Anselm formulated his understanding of the relation between faith and intellect in a statement that faith searches for understanding (“fides quaerns intellectum”). In an introduction to a famous script Proslogion (Speech to You), Anselm claims that he does not need intellect in order to believe but...
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