chapter  2
35 Pages

Encountering God Within: Anselm’s Argument Among the Early Franciscans in Paris

ByScott Matthews

The school of the Franciscans at Paris was already in existence when in 1236 a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University joined the order, bringing his faculty chair with him. The goal of the early Franciscan school was to develop a teaching which not only harmonised Franciscan assumptions with the sources of Christian tradition, but also with their own assumptions about the place of studies within the religious life. The evidence of the manuscripts of the early Franciscan school in the 1240s suggests that Anselm's argument had begun to enter that tradition. Anselm's argument provides the conclusion to an exposition of God's presence in nature through participation and hierarchy. Anselm's argument is employed both to confirm and to complete an account of God that is also an account of the nature of knowledge and, as we shall see, of human nature more generally.