St. Anselm: Basic Writings Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. How does Anselm begin the Proslogium?

Anselm begins the Proslogium in the preface by stating his dissatisfaction with the Monologium and his rationale for writing the Proslogium; he believes that his project of proving God's existence is a case of "faith seeking understanding." Anselm knows what he believes, but he also wants to know why it is true.

2. What does Anselm say in Chapter 1?

Chapter one transitions into an exhortation to believers and a prayer to God that his work will reveal the truth. He exclaims that the mind was created to contemplate God and focus on Him alone. Humans were created primarily to see God, but through sin lost this vision and suffer in misery. The first man, Adam, discarded a state of unity with God which was easy to keep. But now humans are so corrupt that we cannot win back our salvation; we cannot even seek God without His help. The believer, once God has rescued him, does not question his belief, but instead seeks to understand it.

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