Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogion is one of the most celebrated of medieval treatises. This discussion seeks to examine more closely the circumstances in which the Proslogion was conceived and took shape. In particular it analyses the account of the composition of the treatise by Anselm’s later companion Eadmer of Canterbury. Eadmer’s account has never been examined in detail before, and the story he relates of the loss (probably by theft) and destruction of drafts of the treatise is intriguing and instructive. The investigation questions the environment in which Anselm’s treatise was composed, and suggests a degree of factional political life within his monastery at Bec. The legacy of Lanfranc at Bec, the nexus of links between Canterbury and Bec in the last quarter of the eleventh century, and Anselm’s own defensiveness about his intellectual achievements are central aspects to the discussion.
Gasper, G. E. (2010). Envy, Jealousy and the Boundaries of Orthodoxy: Anselm, Eadmer and the Genesis of the Proslogion. Viator, 41(2), 45-68. https://doi.org/10.1484/j.viator.1.100791