Credo ut intelligam

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Credo ut intelligam (alternatively spelled Credo ut intellegam) is Latin for "I believe so that I may understand" and is a maxim of Anselm of Canterbury (Proslogion, 1), which is based on a saying of Augustine of Hippo (crede, ut intelligas, "believe so that you may understand"; Tract. Ev. Jo., 29.6) to relate faith and reason. In Anselm's writing, it is placed in juxtaposition to its converse, intellego ut credam ("I think so that I may believe"), when he says Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam ("I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but rather, I believe in order that I may understand"). It is often associated with Anselm's other famous phrase fides quaerens intellectum ("faith seeking understanding"). Augustine understood the saying to mean that we must believe in something in order to know anything about God.[1]

The term has been used pejoratively to describe uncritical acceptance of questionable concepts.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nash, Ronald H.,"Faith and Reason," p. 88
  2. ^ Tallis, Raymond, "The Shrink from Hell", The Times Higher Education Supplement October 1997 p. 20