chapter  1
31 Pages

Anselm and Tradition

ByScott Matthews

It is in the context of divine reading and the restoration of the image of God within the soul that Anselm's meditation and prayer, the Monologion and the Proslogion are to be understood. Anselm is going beyond traditional forms of monastic meditation, where repetition and non-rational internalisation of the Scripture was as important as any rational understanding of its words. In the Proslogion Anselm stresses the importance of 'faith seeking understanding', but again he does not refer to scriptural authorities in support of his conclusions. What has changed from the Monologion is the form in which the Proslogion is written, the audience for whom it is written, and the fact that Anselm now seeks to show in one argument what, in the Monologion, he had shown in 'a connected chain of many arguments'. Even if his friends and pupils did not treat the argument of the Proslogion as an argument for God's existence, however, Anselm's earliest philosophical critic certainly did.