Pondus Dei: The Weight of God in Anselm's Poetics

Nov 11, 2015
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture
1025 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Back to Events


cosponsored by the Medieval Studies Workshop

The meaning of Anselm’s famous ‘sola ratione’ or ‘by reason alone’ has been the subject of much debate. Is it a principle of reason or a principle of faith? This lecture will argue that the sola ratione instead operates as a poetical principle in Anselm’s work at large, steering his various writings –treatises, meditations, prayers, and letters – into a comprehensive oeuvre. As a result of this poetic use of sola ratione, his work is characterized by a certain playfulness. However lofty questions of divine absence and presence may be, the sola ratione guarantees that meditating about questions of faith and reason keeps within the boundaries of a ‘divina commedia’ of sorts.