Letters of Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury

Samu Niskanem

Hard Cover

Barcode: 9780199697168

Release date: 20/05/2019

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St Anselm (d. 1109) is the most interesting theologian and philosopher of his time. In many respects, his career encapsulates the principal intellectual, religious, and political developments of high medieval Europe. In 1060, Anselm took monastic vows at the abbey of Bec, a reformist community in Normandy, where he was soon promoted to the office of prior and subsequently elected abbot. In 1093 he was elected archbishop of Canterbury, and became a dynamic representative of the new papal claims for the freedom of the Church from the control of lay rulers. Throughout, he wrote theological and spiritual treatises which still resonate today.Anselm was also an avid letter-writer, and his correspondence is one of our best testimonies to an active, cosmopolitan, and cultured life in the Middle Ages. His almost 500 surviving letters represent the man. They are an acute witness to his mind and action, illuminating his monastic teaching, intellectual journey, leadership, and positions respective to rivalries within the church and between ecclesiastical and lay rulers. The first volume of this new critical edition of Anselm's letters comprises his correspondence, 148 letters, from his Norman years. The letters demonstrate at first-hand how he emerged as a respected monastic leader, a distinguished author, and a powerful influence in Normandy with networks in France and England.The present volume includes a new critical edition, established from almost thirty manuscripts, and an English translation of the letters from Anselm's Norman years. A detailed commentary accompanies the text. The critical apparatus provides a means of studying the letters' reception up to c. 1140. The introduction comprises a systematic analysis of the text's transmission from Anselm and his followers to the present day, and a fresh account of his life before Canterbury.


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