Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall, 2015)
Is God's Justice Unmerciful in Anselm's Cur Deus Homo?
By Gregory Sadler
Can God be entirely and supremely just and also entirely merciful, without these two characteristics ending up in contradiction with each other? Anselm of Canterbury considers this question in several places in his works and provides rational resolutions demonstrating the compatibility of divine justice and mercy. This paper considers Anselm's treatment of the problem in the Cur Deus Homo, noting distinctive features of his account, highlighting the seeming incompatibilities between mercy and justice, and setting out his resolution of the problem.
Anselm's Cur Deus Homo: A Meditation from the Point of View of the Sinner
By Gene Fendt
Elements in Anselm's Cur Deus Homo point quite differently from the usual view of it as the locus classicus for a theory of Incarnation and Atonement which exhibits Christ as providing the substitutive revenging satisfaction for the infinite dishonor God suffers at the sin of Adam. This meditation will attempt to bring out how the rhetorical ergon of the work upon faith and conscience drives the sinner to see the necessity of the marriage of human with divine natures offered in Christ and how that marriage raises both man and creation out of sin and its defects. This explanation should exhibit both to believers, who seek to understand, and to unbelievers (primarily Jews and Muslims), from a common root, a solution "intelligible to all, and appealing because of its utility and the beauty of its reasoning" (1.1).
Family Ties in Cur Deus Homo
By Katherin Rogers
The reality of biological family, family as a concrete existent plays a constitutive role in Anselm's Cur Deus Homo argument. It plays such a crucial role that Anselm writes a follow up treatise, De conceptu virginali et de originali peccato, to deal with issues left over from Cur Deus Homo. De conceptu proposes a revolutionary understanding of how original sin is transmitted, which defends the wholesomeness of married intercourse, insists upon the crucial contribution of the Blessed Virgin, and introduces principles which will lead to Duns Scotus' clear explication and defense of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Saint Anselm, Blessed John Henry Newman, and the Idea of a Benedictine University
By Fr. Daniel Patrick Moloney, Ph.D.
John Henry Newman's "Benedictine Essays" develop a strong thesis that Benedictine spirituality is necessarily at odds with the methods of the modern university. Benedictine spiritual life encourages the monk to mortify his intellect, not to satisfy it or to stir it up. It is best suited to grammar school, to the study of literature and history and Scripture, while rejecting the value of studying worldly topics that don't prepare a person for union with God in the next life. Newman's account makes the project of a Benedictine university like St. Anselm's College seem deeply problematic, even oxymoronic. St. Anselm of Canterbury, a transitional figure on Newman's account, shows some ways of reconciling a speculative intellectual life with Benedictine spirituality, but Newman's challenge to the project still remains.