chapter  3
32 Pages

Other Ways to God: Anselm, the Early Dominicans and the Friars in Oxford

ByScott Matthews

St Francis and St Dominic both founded their religious orders in the course of the first two decades of the thirteenth century, approximately a century after the death of St Anselm. The most obvious contrast with Francis lay in Dominic's attitude toward learning. It was St Dominic's coolness toward the cultivation of a more personal, and interior spiritual relationship with God, however, that represented the key contrast with St Francis. Their different attitudes toward the interior life underpinned the differences between St Francis and St Dominic over preaching, poverty, and toward the advancement of studies. The very presence of Anselm's argument in this text, however, makes its absence elsewhere among the Dominicans conspicuous. During a visit to England in 1248, Thomas of Eccleston reports, he held a chapter in Oxford 'to recall some of the Friars to unity who had began to go beyond the rest in wrong opinions'.