Anselm of Canterbury


Biography of Anselm of Canterbury

Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033 – 21 April 1109), also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the Church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he has been a major influence in Western theology and is famous as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and the satisfaction theory of atonement.

Born into the House of Candia, he entered the Benedictine order at the Abbey of Bec at the age of 27, where he became abbot in 1079. He became Archbishop of Canterbury under William II of England, and was exiled from England from 1097 to 1100, and again from 1105 to 1107 under Henry I of England as a result of the investiture controversy, the most significant conflict between Church and state in Medieval Europe. Anselm was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1720 by a Papal Bull of Pope Clement XI.

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