Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Anselm

Another great Christian Thinkers 101 post by Kenneth Samples



Can faith and reason be compatible? Does reason support the truth claims of Christianity? Many people today believe in a false dichotomy that forces faith and reason into separate categories—but thinkers like St. Anselm, a medieval Italian, have offered compelling arguments for integrating faith and reason. St. Anselm’s ontological argument for God’s existence was a significant, though controversial, contribution that still impacts Christian apologetics. Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of St. Anselm—and why he matters today.

Who Was St. Anselm?

After joining the Benedictine order as a monk, St. Anselm (1033–1109) became a high-ranking ecclesiastical figure serving in church leadership in France and England. Ultimately he became archbishop of Canterbury. Throughout his adult life, St. Anselm sought to reform the church and monastic life. He was a major Catholic theologian and philosopher and made important contributions to Christian doctrine, philosophical theology, and apologetics. Though an Augustinian…

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