Standard Article

Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109)

  1. Ryan T. Woods

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0047

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Woods, R. T. 2011. Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in 1033 to a declining patrician clan in the alpine village of Aosta, Italy, Anselm inhabited a world of profound cultural and political ferment: the Norman Conquest, the Crusades, the development of scholastic institutions, and the Hildebrandine pontificate punctuated his eventful life. His legacy, however, owes less to his participation in the institutional apparatus of this transformation, and more to the inner resources of his fertile intellect.


  • Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109);
  • fertile intellect, inner resources;
  • Eucharistic controversy, with Berengar of Tours;
  • Anselm, “that… greater can be conceived”;
  • human disobedience, divine purpose;
  • resistance, to ecclesiastical holdings