An Analysis of Anselm’s Philosophical Theology and the Problem of Man’s Freedom in His De Concordia
Keywords:Anselm of Canterbury, medieval theology, medieval philosophy, God, man, grace, predestination, determinism, free will
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to discover, present and analyze the key ideas of Anselm of Canterbury concerning the notions of knowledge, will and mode of divine-human relations in the context of this “knowledge-will” framework which is important due to (a) somewhat insufficient attention to the medieval insights on the issue and (b) the peculiarity that Anselm’s intuitions have. More specifically, the object of the given paper is Anselmian understanding of relations between God’s foreknowledge and will, on the one side, and human free will, on the other side, as it is presented in the work entitled De Concordia. In this treatise Anselm of Canterbury partially uses and further elaborates some ideas of Augustine and Boethius, while integrating, updating and synthesizing them in a creative manner, and partially develops a number of thoughts of his own. As a result, there is a set of the well-formulated and comprehensive theses concerning (i) different types of (metaphysical) necessity, (ii) a proper definition of freedom of choice and will, (iii) the nature of will per se, and, finally, (iv) unique relation of “simultaneity” that exists between God’s knowledge, God’s will and the creature’s rational will. These ideas are presented and explicated in the article along with detailed exposition and analytical examination of the main line of argumentation found in the De Concordia.
Anselm of Canterbury. (2000a). Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises of Anselm of Canterbury. (J. Hopkins & H. Richardson, Transl.). Minneapolis, MN: Banning Press.
Anselm of Canterbury. (2000b). Freedom of Choice. In Anselm of Canterbury, Complete Philosophical… (pp. 191-213).
Anselm of Canterbury. (2000c). The Fall of the Devil. In Anselm of Canterbury, Complete Philosophical… (pp. 214-261).
Anselm of Canterbury. (2000d). The Harmony of the Foreknowledge, the Predestination, and the Grace of God with Free Choice. In Anselm of Canterbury, Complete Philosophical… (pp. 531-574).
Anselm of Canterbury. 2000e. Why God Became a [God-]man. In Anselm of Canterbury, Complete Philosophical… (pp. 295-389).
Anselmus Cantuariensis. (1938a). De Casu Diaboli. In Sancti Anselmi Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi Opera Omnia. (F. S. Schmitt, Ed.). (Vol. I, pp. 227-276). Seckau.
Anselmus Cantuariensis. (1938b). De Libertate Arbitrii. In Sancti Anselmi… Vol. I (pp. 221-226). Seckau.
Anselmus Cantuariensis. (1940a). Cur Deus Homo. In Sancti Anselmi… (Vol. I, pp. 37-133). Romae [s.n.].
Anselmus Cantuariensis. (1940b). De Concordia Praescientiae et Praedestinationis et Gratiae Dei Cum Libero Arbitrio. In Sancti Anselmi… (Vol. I, pp. 243-288). Romae [s.n.].
Augustine, St. (2014). The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm
Aurelius Augustinus, S. (2014a). Enchiridion de Fide, Spe et Charitate liber unus. Retrieved from http://www.augustinus.it/latino/enchiridion/index.htm
Aurelius Augustinus, S. (2014b). De Spiritu et Littera liber unus. Retrieved from http://www.augustinus.it/latino/spirito_lettera/index.htm
Bely, M.-E. (2013). Regis Jolivet et l'actualite du Moyen Age. Theophilyon, 18(2), 407-423.
Craig, W. L. (1988). The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future contingents from Aristotle to Suarez. Leiden; New York; Kobenhavn; Köln: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004246560
De Rijk, L. M. (1985). La philosophie au moyen age. Leiden: Brill.
Evans, G. R. (2002). Anselm. London: Continuum.
Gilson, E. (1925). La philosophie au moyen age de Scot Erigene a Guillaume d'Occam. Paris: Payot et Cte.
Glare, P.G.W. (Ed.). (2005). Oxford Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Hopkins, J. (1972). A Companion to the Study of St. Anselm. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Hopkins, J. (2003). Anselm of Canterbury. In J. J. E. Gracia, T. B. Noone, (Ed.), A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages (pp. 122-186). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Hopkins, J. (1967). Editor's Introduction. In Anselm of Canterbury, Truth, Freedom, and Evil: Three Philosophical Dialogues (pp. 10-78). (J. Hopkins, H. Richardson, Eds. & Trans.). New York, NY: Harper Torchbooks; Harper and Row.
Knuuttila, S. (2004). Anselm on Modality. In B. Davies, B. Leftow, (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm (pp. 111-131). Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521807468.006
Marenbon, J. (2007). Medieval Philosophy: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction. London: Routledge.
McCall, S. (2011). The Supervenience of Truth: Freewill and Omniscience. Analysis 71(3), 501-506. https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/anr051
Mumford, S., Anjum, R. L. (2014). A New Argument Against Compatibilism. Analysis 74(1), 20-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/ant095
Pranger, M. B. (1975). Consequente Theologie: Een studie over het denken van Anselmus van Canterbury. Assen: Van Gorcum.
Stelten, L. F. (2004). Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin: With an Appendix of Latin Expressions Defined and Clarified. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers.
Sumner, G. (2013). Why Anselm Still Matters. Anglican Theological Review 95(1), 25-35.
Visser, S., Williams, T. (2009). Anselm. Oxford; New York: Oxford UP.
Visser, S., Williams, T. (2004). Anselm's Account of Freedom. In B. Davies, B. Leftow, (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm (pp. 179-203). Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521807468.009
Vos, A. (2006). The Philosophy of John Duns Scotus. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. https://doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624621.001.0001
Wawer, J. (2014). The Truth About the Future. Erkenntnis, 79, 365-401. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-013-9454-3
Weinberg, J. R. (1991). A Short History of Medieval Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP.
How to Cite
- Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).