Talk:Anselm of Canterbury

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News This article has been mentioned by a media organisation:
  • John E. McIntyre (2012-09-24). "Don't trust Wikipedia on Anselm". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2012-09-24. A subsequent study by Epic, an e-learning company, and Oxford University was published in 2012, and it is this study that Dr. Buckner addresses, particularly on the reliability of the Wikipedia articles on Thomas Aquinas and Anselm of Canterbury.  (details)


Influences and influenced[edit]

In the infobox which accompanies this article, only two influences are named: Jesus and Aristotle. Both seem odd. Is Jesus typical for Christian philosophers? It seems appropriate enough to me, but it should be applied consistently at least. Is Aristotle correct? I would think that most of Artistotles corpus was only well-known to the European West later. Plato would, I think, be more accurate. I think we could also add Augustine and maybe Lanfranc, though I don't know that Lanfranc can be considered a philosophic influence. Those he influenced are much wider than Aquinas and Hegel and I don't even think those two are exemplary. I don't know how much influence he had on the Reformers, but I think he had some. I think he could also be said to exert a great influence on all major purveyors of the ontological argument in the last century: Malcolm, Hartshorne, Plantinga, etc. I though I'd bring this up here first, before making and changes on an area that is not my expertise. Srnec 22:11, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd say that Jesus should be removed; that does seem rather vague for a Christian philosopher. And I'm hardly expert in any of this, all the rest of my response is going to be based on the introduction to my copy of Proslogion (trans. and intro. by M.J. Charlesworth). I found a reference that Leibniz was "greatly attracted by the Anselmian argument". Also, it says that in his works Anselm refers to several of Aristotle's works, and that yes he would have been exposed to them as would all scholars at the time while studying dialectics. Also, "...judging from the references in Anselm's own works, later writers such as Leo the Great and Gregory the Great were also closely studied." [in relation to St Augustine]. It also suggests that he got neo-Platonist ideas, albeit by way of St Augustine. Hope this helps a bit. Carl.bunderson 22:27, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Correct link for antipope Clement[edit]

In following the link to Clement III I was redirected to Pope Clement III instead of antipope Clement III. I beleive this is the proper link:

Also, I hope you don't mind if I pass on a few suggestions for the antipope Clement III page. I thought the introduction of Matilda was rather abrupt and that the mention of Henry's withdrawal from Italy was a bit sketchy.

Thanks for these great pages of history.

I fixed the Antipope Clement III link KarlBunker 23:48, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

References from 1911 Britannica[edit]

Perhaps we might reincorporate into the Reference section of the article some (but not all) of the long list of references from the 1911 Britannica that were recently deleted - not in the context of their being from the 1911 Britannica, but rather as historic references on St. Anselm. They'd be of interest to at least one user (myself) :) Perhaps the ones where the wiki link to the author of the reference work is not red. I may possibly work on this during future editing sessions. --Lini 04:07, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Response from Mark R. Dobbins[edit]

Dear Members:

I apologize for my silence during the ongoing discussion regarding my 2000 article on Anselm of Canterbury. A kind friend only recently pointed out the Wikipedia article containing a footnoted reference to the article, and the ongoing - and highly stimulating -debate it caused. I am now writing a response that I hope to post in the near future. Until that time, I would like to clarify a few points: 1. I am no longer an undergraduate student. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Delaware. 2. My fields are Baroque Italian Painting (major field) and Gender Studies in the History of Art (minor field). I never claimed to be an expert in the field of "Anselm Studies." 3. I would appreciate it greatly if the personal attacks against my credentials or lack thereof would cease.

Thank you. I look foward to clarifing the history of the article I wrote in 2000, and my intent in writing it, shortly.

Mark R. Dobbins University of Delaware

BA History of Art (Honors College) - Southern CT State University 2000 Thesis: Caravaggio's "Entombment of Christ" Reconsidered MA History of Art - University of Delaware 2007 (proposed date) Thesis: Textual and Visual Sources for Caravaggio's "Narcissus:" The Basis for a Reinterpretation Ph.D. Candidate - University of Delaware

Hello, Mr. Dobbins. I may be the only person reading this page who has any memory of the debate you're referring to. It dates back to Jan-Feb of 2006 and is currently "archived" in "/Archive 2" at the top of this page. The person who originally cited your article no longer appears to be actively involved with this article, nor is my major antagonist in the Jan-Feb debate. As you've seen if you've read through that (painfully long) archive, the debate was settled in terms that I think you'll largely agree with, although the citation to your article was unfortunately removed as not quite fitting Wikipedia's standards for a reliable source, I still believe what I said during that debate: that your undergraduate article on the subject was the best, neatest, most appropriate analysis of the whole "Dilecto dilectori" issue I've ever read. KarlBunker 22:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Saints and Naming[edit]

Saints, as a general rule, tend to have a lot of places named after them. I've spent a while now trying to gather, through searches, information on entities with the name "Anselm", and the most concise list is currently at Saint Anselm's, as is the case with Saint Mary's for consistency, but this list is by no means complete. Anselm is the name of many places, not just in English but also Anselmo in Spanish and Anselme in French. Please feel free to tidy up and Wikify the current disambiguation. See Saint Anselm's. Madeinsane 17:10, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

"Dilecto dilectori" section[edit]

I've removed the following phrase from the section:

"especially because "dilecto dilectori" can also be traslated as "Love's lover", "Love" being a pseudonym for God commonly used by Christians thoughout the ages (compare 1 John 4:7-12,16).[citation needed]"

My reason for removing it is that it gives the incorrect impression that the debate is based on nothing more than poor translation of a single phrase that Anselm used. To correct this misimpression it would require getting into a deeper discussion those writings of Anselm's that have given rise to the debate in the first place. See the earlier version of this diff for some illustrative quotes from Anselm. I feel that expanding the section in this way would give too much attention to a minor issue. KarlBunker 18:10, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It does appear that KarlBunker is in the right here (assuming the quotes in the diff above are accurate). I have tightened the section a bit further. As Karl says, we don't want to give undue weight to such speculations. --Flex (talk|contribs) 19:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Karl said he unlinked homosexual in this section because "people know what it means." Most people do, but reading this guideline, I think the link is still helpful here because the section exists to discuss Anselm's purported homosexual inclination. (By comparison, I would certainly not link to male here.) --Flex (talk|contribs) 20:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Point taken. I'm still inclined to think it's unnecessary, but not enough to argue about it. KarlBunker 20:56, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

If the "sometimes" translated phrase is all that is given then it implies that there are other, perhaps more correct (?), translations of the phrase that will not be confusing to people or seem to be an attempt at a smear campaign. The quotes in the older version of the article Karl cites above have no references. If the current paragraph is too shallow to not mislead readers then perhaps the quotes, with references, and further discussion should be put back into the article? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

The quotes given in that earlier version are available in Southern's book (you can read them at Amazon, via their "search inside" function). Personally, I don't think the current version is "too shallow." I think confining the quotations to simply "dilecto dilectori"/"beloved lover" gives the most succinct and least-lurid gist of the origins of the debate. Giving the more extensive quotes would have some lurid shock value, but I think that, unless the article went into a lot of cautionary language (as Southern's book does) about not "reading" the quotes by overly-contemporary standards, including them would be misleading. So again one gets into the problem of devoting too much space to an issue that most scholars consider to be a fairly minor point. KarlBunker 23:58, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


Saints can be placed in multiple categories as to their country of origin. Anselm can go in both Category:Italian saints, as he was from Italy, and Category:British saints, as he lived in Britain for 16 years. On the other hand it is inadvisable to leave him in the main Category:Saints, which becomes too large very easily. If no one offers a real objection I will add the appropriate categories.--Cúchullain t/c 02:51, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Done.--Cúchullain t/c 21:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Shield of the Trinity[edit]

I'm not sure why the "Shield of the Trinity" diagram was added to this article, since there's no evidence that this diagram was in use until about a hundred years after Anselm of Canterbury's death, as far as I'm aware. Also, from the summary given on the article page, Anselm's philosophical approach to the Trinity would appear to have a very different emphasis from the quasi-logical approach (taken from the Athanasian Creed) of the Shield of the Trinity diagram. AnonMoos 06:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

No one had defended the inclusion of this image, so per AnonMoos, I'll remove it. RedSpruce (talk) 12:28, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Heh. I'm just letting Anselm languish in obscurity. WAY too much philosophical stuff to deal with to work up the article. I just try to keep obvious vandalism out. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:41, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Archbishop of Canterbury infobox[edit]

The "Archbishop of Canterbury" infobox isn't working right (in this or other articles). Inserting the template below in an article's talk page is supposed to enter the article into a category that will hopefully bring this to the attention of someone who knows how to fix this. RedSpruce (talk) 16:35, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


Or you could have just posted here or on the template talk page. I'm assuming the problem is the {{unknown}} part in the "enthroned" field? The problem is that the "began" field is being used as an "enthroned" title. Not all medievel archbishops have that date know. I've added "unknown" to the field. I've given up working on the archbishop template, because when I finally get it working, someone comes along and "improves" it and breaks it again. It should be working on this page correctly now. I'll go ahead and fix all the before 1500 archbishops now. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:41, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks. I've removed the template, now that the fix is done. RedSpruce (talk) 12:24, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Tag at top of article[edit]

I added a number of references from two RS to the article. I didn't touch the Archbishop of Canterbury section much, as my refs gave very different details which were rather hard to reconcile. And I left the Works/thought section virtually the same as it was. Can the citation needed tag at the top of the article be taken down now? carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 09:10, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Anselm's career as archbishop is the subject of some controversy in the academic world, with two differing views of his motivations for his various actions. The main works would be Richard Southern's two biographies and Sally Vaughn's biography, plus a number of journal articles. Briefly, Southern sees Anselm as an otherworldly philosopher with little grasp of political matters, and Vaughn sees Anselm as a reasonably skilled political actor. While both agree on the actual actions Anselm took, they disagree on the reasons behind those actions. Someday, I'll get around to actually working on this article. I didn't put the tag on, you'd be better off asking whoever did. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:22, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Apparent discontinuity[edit]

In the section "Archbishop of Canterbury under William," Anselm moves to Lyon, then in the next paragraph he leaves Rome for Schiavi. I think this needs some work. Mrgate3 (talk) 21:27, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I think I'll just delete that last sentence of the section. It's leftover from before my overhaul. It doesn't add much of value, given that Cur Deus Homo is mentioned in the writings section. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions)
Done. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 20:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


The article body has the (referenced, it appears) statement that Anselm was never formally canonized, although he is venerated both in Anglican and in Roman Catholic tradition and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1720. The infobox otoh claims he was canonized under Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), but this is unreferenced. I am removing this claim pending attribution. --dab (𒁳) 06:43, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

comparing other articles (it:, de:) I find it is a commonly repeated claim that Anselm was canonized in 1494, in apparent contradiction to our article here. I consequently left both claims in place but have tagged them. Somebody will need to look into this. --dab (𒁳) 06:50, 7 July 2010 (UTC)


I meant to mention this before: the "receive the pallium from the hands of the pope" seems an overstrict interpretation. IIRC there was much to-ing and fro-ing about York/Canterbury and pallia, which imply that sending one was not an extraordinary event. All the best: Rich Farmbrough02:59, 3 August 2014 (UTC).

Indeed Gregory sent a pallium with Laurentius and Peter, for Augustine in 601. All the best: Rich Farmbrough15:27, 4 August 2014 (UTC).

Text from EB1911[edit]

To check whether this text contains text copied from EB1911 you can run

It it does then please do not remove the EB1911 citations that cover the text or the attribution template in the References section (see WP:PLAGIARISM). -- PBS (talk) 09:30, 2 May 2015 (UTC)