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Anselm's perfect God

Katherin A. Rogers

pp. 133-140

Anselm of Canterbury is well known for his discussion of the nature of God. In the present paper I defend his methodology, then outline some of the attributes which he ascribes to God, noting problems and pointing towards Anselmian solutions. Anselm begins his analysis with the claim that God is a perfect being, beyond any limitation, "that than which no greater can be conceived". His method is to unpack this concept of perfection and ascribe to God, to an unlimited degree, whatever attributes it is simply better to have than not. I begin with the controversial attributes of simplicity and eternity and then show how, given Anselm's understanding of these attributes, the more standard attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect goodness, fit the Anselmian schema in which all of the attributes we ascribe to God are one and the same, and all identical with the divine nature.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5219-1_12

Full citation:

Rogers, K. A. (2013)., Anselm's perfect God, in J. Diller & A. Kasher (eds.), Models of God and alternative ultimate realities, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 133-140.

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