Anselm by Sandra VisserAnselm by Sandra Visser


bySandra Visser, Thomas Williams

Paperback | November 22, 2008

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Sandra Visser and Thomas Williams offer a brief, accessible introduction to the life and thought of St. Anselm (c. 1033-1109). Anselm, who was Archbishop of Canterbury for the last 16 years of his life, is unquestionably one of the foremost philosopher-theologians of the Middle Ages. Indeed hemay have been the greatest Christian thinker in the 800 years between Augustine and Aquinas. His keen and rigorous thinking earned him the title "The Father of Scholasticism." The influence of his contributions to ethics and philosophical theology is clearly discernible in figures as various asThomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, the voluntarists of the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the Protestant Reformers. The prevalence of self-identified Anselmians -- and anti-Anselmians -- in contemporary philosophy of religion attests to the enduring importance of his approach to thedivine nature. Visser and Williams's book falls into two main parts. The first will elucidate Anselm's metaphysics, concluding with an examination of Anselm's account of truth, which serves as a capstone for his metaphysical system. The second part focuses on Anselm's theory of knowledge. Topics consideredinclude Anselm's general account of cognition and his odd but compelling theory of language acquisition and the role it plays in discourse about the divine. The third section of the book is devoted to the moral life. Anselm's account of the foundations of ethics is philosophically of great interest,the authors show, because it effectively combines insights that contemporary philosophers have thought to be antithetical. In the fourth and last section, they turn to Anselm's philosophical explorations of Christian doctrine, including Redemption, the Trinity, and the Incarnation. They show howAnselm puts his metaphysical system to work in establishing the coherence of Christian doctrine and explain how his philosophical theology rests on his theory of knowledge.
Sandra Visser is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Valparaiso University. Thomas Williams is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Title:AnselmFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 5.51 × 8.19 × 0.59 inPublished:November 22, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195309391

ISBN - 13:9780195309393

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Editorial Reviews

"A fresh study of the astonishing philosophical and theological achievement of Anselm of Canterbury is long overdue. But it has been worth the wait. Visser and Williams bring Anselm's texts and ideas vividly to life. They introduce us to the breadth of his thought - from his philosophy of mind, language, and modality to his reflections on Trinity and Incarnation - with a sensitivity to the texts and a depth of analysis that is rare in books accessible to a general readership." --Scott McDonald, Professor of Philosophy and Norma K. Regan Professor in Christian Studies, Cornell University