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").

The term has been used pejoratively to describe uncritical acceptance of questionable concepts.[1]


  1. ^ Tallis, Raymond, "The Shrink from Hell", The Times Higher Education Supplement October 1997 p. 20