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Anselm of Canterbury (Aosta c. 1033 – Canterbury 21 April 1109), also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he is famous as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God.
Born into the noble family of Candia, he entered the Benedictine order at the Abbey of Bec at the age of twenty-seven, where he became abbot in 1079. He became Archbishop of Canterbury under William II of England, and was exiled from England from 1097 to 1100, and again from 1105 to 1107 under Henry I of England as a result of the investiture controversy, the most significant conflict between Church and State in Medieval Europe.
Anselm was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1720 by "Papal Bulla" of Pope Clement XI.
The Satisfaction (or Commercial) theory of the atonement was formulated by Anselm of Canterbury in his book, Cur Deus Homo (lit. ‘Why the God-Man?’). He has introduced the idea of satisfaction as the chief demand of the nature of God, of punishment as a possible alternative of satisfaction and equally fulfilling the requirements of justice thus opening the way to the assertion of punishment as the true satisfaction of the law.
In his view, God’s offended honor and dignity could only be satisfied by the sacrifice of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Anselm undertook to explain the rational necessity of the Christian mystery of the atonement. His philosophy rests on three positions—first, that satisfaction is necessary on account of God's honour and justice; second, that such satisfaction can be given only by the peculiar personality of the God-man Jesus; and, third, that such satisfaction is really given by this God-man's voluntary death.
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