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The Art of Equanimity: A Study on the Theological Hermeneutics of Saint Anselm of Canterbury

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Emery de Gaál Gyulai

It is not a question of using either the palpable world or the intellect when trying to prove God’s existence. Anselm apprehends being’s very intelligibility as making it amenable to divine traces – that turn out to be God’s «muted» communication. Anselm practices in this sense «a blending of horizons» – i.e. tradition (Plotinus, Augustine, Benedict). We human beings owe our own rationality to the same God who created the universe, us and our minds. The appreciation of a thus constituted reality unleashes a remarkable and refreshing fecundity (Möhler, Guardini, Barth, von Balthasar). Anselm seems to state: «Thinking – insofar as it is intelligible – is being.» This makes Anselm’s approach topical for our days. Increasingly the world consists of information and news. Truth claims are filtered from what is thought. Perhaps it is this Anselmic ‘reduction’ of reality to thought which opens a perspective for genuine emancipation and authentic humanization. The monastery afforded the proper ambience to live and apprehend this ‘reduction’.
Contents: Hermeneutics – Monastic Theology – Plotinus – Benedict – Faith and Reason – Soteriology – Faith and Thought – Johann Adam Möhler – Romano Guardini – Karl Barth – Hans Urs von Balthasar – Rationalism – Fideism.