“Let no one, therefore, be in a hurry to plunge into the thicket of divine questions . . . . approach questions concerning holy Scripture as cautiously as possible.” (Anselm, On the Incarnation of the Word, 1)
It is not uncommon for modern theologians and philosophers of religion to cite the methodology of St. Anselm as influential (or even a primary motivator) for their own theological work. Known by various titles (e.g., “perfect being” or “greatest possible being” theology), this method is said to follow from two major works of Anselm: the Monologion and the Proslogion. The former is Anselm’s treatise on the attributes of God, the latter on God’s existence. What makes both works unique is that each is said to reach its conclusions from reason alone (sola ratione) apart from Scripture and Church Authority / Tradition.
This “Anselmian Theology” has contributed to both the formal and material aspects of the debate over God’s existence and attributes (especially in responses to atheistic ontological disproofs), and it is some of the thinkers in this arena that gave rise to this article. Some of these modern thinkers have reached unorthodox conclusions in their defense of theism while allegedly following Anselm’s method, which seems odd given that Anselm himself did not. This article takes a brief look at what might account for this parting of ways.
Modern Anselmian Theologians
It seems clear that one’s prior methodological commitments can have a large impact on one’s theological/philosophical conclusions – not only for the establishing of theological positions, but also in the drawing of the borders for what counts as acceptable speculation. Many of the philosophers and theologians who have contributed to theistic apologetics have made fairly clear claims concerning their reliance on Anselmian perfect being theology (or at least their use of his method). Given the unabashed theological tributes being paid to Anselm by some of these writers, an investigation into his theological method (especially with an eye for any departures from it on their part) is in order.
Thomas V. Morris
Thomas Morris, previous Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, specifically states in his Our Idea of God that his theologizing follows from Anselm’s idea of God as a perfect being (p.35), and that the way many people think of God’s attributes are not the result of either philosophical or theological arguments, but rather follow from “Anselmian intuition” (p.56). Agreement that the Bible is of crucial importance for developing our idea of God is, for Morris, “compatible with a good deal of disagreement and uncertainty over details of biblical interpretation” (pp.103-104). When it comes to his more apologetic material, Morris believes that, “arguments of critics can be very helpful to theists, because if they are good they can steer us away from faulty specifications of the nature of divine perfection” (pp.76-77).
Morris is quite clear from the start that his theological methodology follows from what he thinks of as Anselmian perfect being theology. He reinforces this methodology throughout his writing, often digressing into methodological reflection in the midst of his consideration of God’s attributes. For example, in his discussion on God’s omnipotence, Morris notes that, “the Anselmian conception of God can often be defended without our having to take definitive stands on difficult issues” (pp.76-77). In his section on God’s omniscience, Morris notes that, “theists can differ in their beliefs and still be talking about the same thing. . . . We began with a definition or core concept of God as the greatest possible being. This is the first level of theistic concept of building. . . . Perfect being theology is then developed by means of . . . intuitions . . . The precise details at this second level are to some extent open to dispute and negotiable within the practice of perfect being theology. Agreement on the first level of conceptual thinking about God is this compatible with disagreement, and even significant uncertainty, concerning some of the specifications at the second level.” (pp.103-104).
Morris’s theological system produces a mixed bag of standard, popular, orthodox views and some unorthodox ones. His ultimate understanding of God’s goodness tracks with the former, however his lodging of these attributes in mere “Anselmian intuition” may cause more classical theologians pause. Morris claims that his perfect being theology works with and can even add to creation theology and biblical theology, but nowhere does he consider Christian tradition. A good example of this is his discussion of God’s eternality. After presenting the two diverging views, Morris states that, “there are no biblical passages which explicitly and undeniably settle the matter nor are their arguments from the methodology of your perfect being theology or creation theology which clearly uncontroversial present the final word on the issue” (p.121). Morris apparently does not consider the traditional formulations of God’s attributes as being relevant to the solving of the debate.
John S. Feinberg
John S. Feinberg’s 2001 tome No One Like Him was written to give a modern Evangelical view of God that remained true to Scripture as well as offering philosophically astute modifications of the classical view of God to bear on the challenges brought on by proponents of Open Theism and Process Theology (pp.32-33). Despite these two primary interlocutors, Feinberg is also displays awareness of the controversy surrounding the divine attributes, and seeks to offer a “revisioned” God with “nuanced” attributes that bring him closer to the modern concept without “totally abandoning the traditional concept of God” (p.xxv).
Although it is not mentioned as frequently in his writing, Feinberg agrees with Morris whose “treatment of both matters in Our Idea of God is most helpful. . . . Anselm’s key insight was that no being could qualify as God if a greater being could be conceived. To say that God is the GCB means that ‘God is a being with the greatest possible array of compossible great-making properties.” (p.210). Feinberg says, “I prefer something like Anselm’s sense for ‘God.’ ‘God’ means the supreme being, even the greatest conceivable being (shorthand for Anselm’s “being than which none greater can be conceived”). This doesn’t mean that we must agree with everything Anselm thought made God the greatest conceivable being. It only means that this is an apt definition of what the term means at least for traditions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Those traditions view God as infinite/unlimited and superior to any being that exists or could exist.” (p.40). Indeed, Feinberg follows Morris in several places, even in key areas of departure from traditional theology (e.g., 2001: 255, 291, 329-337). Further, Feinberg’s use of “greatest conceivable being” theology is found throughout his writing (e.g., 2001:40, 64, 186-187, 190, 289, 382-385).
Feinberg’s purpose in writing is clear: “Theologians and non-theologians alike are clamoring for a God who is engaged in our lives and responsive to our needs. The remote God of classical Christianity seems irrelevant to our contemporaries. Even Christians broadly in the evangelical community sense a need to replace or at least significantly alter the concept of the classical God. . . . the question confronting the evangelical theologian is what to do about the classical conception of God that has been handed down through centuries of church history. . . . Rather than totally abandoning the traditional concept of God, a substantial overhaul and reconstruction seems more appropriate. In the pages of this book you will see the results of such modifications.” (2001: xxiv-vi).
Although Feinberg does not include Church tradition in his method, he does give its importance in consideration the occasional nod (e.g., pp.39, 40, 214, 234, 238, 264, 277). Nowhere, however, does tradition or any other Church authority trump Feinberg’s other sources (indeed, the opposite is asserted to be the case: “The theologian must use whatever facts about God’s nature the biblical writers offer, but frequently we must go beyond the biblical testimony about these attributes to formulate a definition or to resolve problems surrounding them. So long as the definition and/or the resolution to problems in no way contradict Scripture, there is nothing wrong with this methodology. Moreover, we must differentiate the traditional Christian understanding of an attribute from what Scripture actually teaches and warrants. If Scripture doesn’t support a traditional understanding, we must side with Scripture and modify or reject the tradition.” – p.238), and he shows little reticence going against tradition even when Scripture allows for it (e.g., his rejection of “the notion [of divine timeless eternality] with the longest pedigree in the Christian” (2001:255), or of immutability: “the static view of God that so many within the classical Christian tradition have held” – p.266).
Feinberg goes on to say that, “In this book, I have argued that we need to reconstruct and revise our conception of the classical God” (p.800). And so he does. For example, Feinberg argues that divine immutability should be understood as God not changing in his person, will, or purposes – not necessarily as being free of all change (2001: 264-76) – including that brought on by being in time. Thus, Feinberg rejects the atemporal understanding of God’s eternity (2001:375-436) as well as divine impassibility (2001:277). Feinberg’s “nuancing” of many of God’s traditional attributes will affect his view of omnipotence as well, for on Feinberg’s system (following Kenny), God’s omnipotence consists in “the possession of all logically possible powers which it is logically possible for a being with the attributes of God to possess” (2001:288). The classical doctrine of divine simplicity is rejected by Feinberg as well (2001:337).
William Lane Craig
In his and J. P. Moreland’s Philosophical Foundations For Christian Worldview, Craig admits he is similarly in debt to what he thinks of as the Anselmian theological method. When Craig deals with atheistic ontological disproof arguments in particular, he begins by asserting that, “God’s self-revelation in Scripture is obviously paramount in understanding what God is like.” (p.501). However, when it comes to interpreting scriptural revelation, Craig believes that, “the Anselmian conception of God as the greatest conceivable being or most perfect being has guided philosophical speculation on the raw data of Scripture, so that God’s biblical attributes are to be conceived in ways that would serve to exalt God’s greatness.” In case statements like these are not clear enough, Craig says in A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible that, “to say that I tacitly endorse Anselmian perfect being theology is an understatement . . . I see the conception of God as the greatest conceivable being as one of the guides for systematic theology’s formulation of the doctrine of God ” (p.167). Craig even says, “The best definition of God as a descriptive term is, I think, St. Anselm’s: the greatest conceivable being.” (“Defining God”).
Craig’s method has led him to take issue with classical formulations of God’s attributes. For example, in his response to problems of God’s immutability, Craig states that, “Rejection of radical immutability leaves it open for us to affirm nonetheless that God is immutable in the biblical sense of being constant and unchangeable in His character. Moreover, He is immutable in His existence (necessity, aseity, eternity) and His being omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. These essential attributes are enough to safeguard God’s perfection without having Him frozen into immobility” (PFCW, p.527). This kind of thinking also leads Craig to deny that God is atemporal: “A second powerful argument for divine temporality is based on God’s being all-knowing. In order to know the truth of propositions expressed by tensed sentences like ‘Christ is risen from the dead’ God must exist temporally. For such knowledge locates the knower relative to the present” (PFCW, p:513).
Moreover, Craig has even been accused of heresy due to his philosophical allowances on the nature of Christian theology. Craig’s Monothelitism is the heresy of denying that Jesus had both a human will and a divine will (PFCW, p.611) – and this is not the only accusation of heresy that might be leveled against him if heresy is defined as disagreement with an ecumenical creed. Craig also denies the procession of the Son from the Father (PFCW, p.594 – cf. “Is God the Father Causally Prior to the Son?”). Each of these positions contradicts some ecumenical creed (in the understanding of the Church if not the exact wording – e.g., “eternally begotten of the Father”).
Craig is clearly aware of his position’s conflict with the Church’s traditional beliefs in these areas, and states that he is concerned over the charge of heresy: “No earnest Christian wants to be considered a heretic. . . . While one disagrees with the promulgations of an Ecumenical Council only with great hesitancy, nonetheless, since we do not regard these as invested with divine authority, we are open to the possibility that they have erred in places” (“Monothelitism” ). Craig affirms the Church’s creeds as the determiners of orthodoxy in “Could Christ have Sinned?” and recognizes that the Church has defined heresy in “Does the Problem of Material Constitution Illuminate the Doctrine of the Trinity?” when he notes that, “The Father knows, for example, that the Son dies on the cross, but He does not and cannot know that He Himself dies on the cross—indeed, the view that He so knows even has the status of heresy: patripassianism.” However, using a combination of the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura and the “wide latitude” for defining God’s attributes that Craig believes Scripture gives, he believes that his positions are warranted: “we Protestants recognize Scripture alone as our ultimate rule of faith (the Reformation principle of sola scriptura). Therefore, we bring even the statements of Ecumenical Councils before the bar of Scripture. . . . It seems to me that in condemning Monotheletism as incompatible with Christian belief the Church did overstep its bounds.” (Monothelitism“). Similar statements are made in Philosophical Foundations at relevant points.
Anselm’s Theological Method
How is it possible that brilliant thinkers have gone so far astray from traditional Christian doctrine when they follow the theological method of an orthodox saint? I believe that part of the answer is that writers like Morris, Feinberg, and Craig depart from Anselm in their reduction of his theological method to a collection of intuitions built up from the axiomatic idea of God as the “greatest possible being.” There is more to Anselm’s theological method than this – and part of it involves theological controls that are lacking in the above moder theologians.
Anselm scholar Marilyn McCord-Adams notes that Anselm’s method is actually shaped by five (not one) fundamental factors: (1) his appreciation of the ontological incommensuration between God and creatures, (2) his commitment to the infallible authority of Scripture as interpreted through the creeds and conciliar pronouncements, (3) his conviction that humans are made in God’s image, (4) his conception of inquiry as essentially a divine-human collaboration, and (5) his understanding of human inquiry as holistic and developmental.” The first factor explains why our understanding of God, and our language concerning him, often remains shrouded in mystery. One thing notably absent from the above writers is a robust appreciation for the apophaticism (“negative theology”) seen throughout traditional Christian theology. As I noted elsewhere, this factor alone contributes to numerous theological problems. If the doctrine of analogy is correct, the linguistic precision with which these atheists (and their apologist correlatives) approach ontological disproof arguments is simply not available for use. Now, this first factor is balanced by 3-5 which provide hope to those who earnestly seek knowledge of God – and factor 2 forms, for Anselm, a sort of speculative safety zone within which God’s mystery may be fruitfully explored. While all three writers regularly assert their reliance on Scripture, each also admit to (and take full advantage of) the wide latitude they believe Scripture leaves open for theologizing. Church tradition is regularly ignored or, in some cases, even explicitly defied by the writers above. Contrast this with Anslem’s submission of his interpretation to “the creeds and conciliar pronouncements.” While factors 3-5 may be relatively theologically neutral among the parties of concern in this paper, factors 1 and 2 bear some analysis.
Anselm on God and Creatures
Despite his stated reverence for Scripture and the role it would play in correcting a purely philosophical theology, Anselm’s project is a sort of thought experiment wherein he seeks to defend the notion of God and his attributes by purely rational means.
In Monologion, Anselm argues from the goodness of things to an ultimate good (namely, God), and then goes on to deduce God’s attributes from the fact that God is the highest good. In Monologion, Anselm posits four ways to do so. First, God “must not at all be said to be any of those things to which something which is not what they are superior,” and second, he “must be said to be any of those things to which whatever it is not what they are is inferior”. These two assertions are supported by two more: “do not say that God has any non-perfection,” and, “do say that God has every perfection.” In Proslogion, Anselm sought a means to arrive at the same conclusions only following from a single argument. This “Anselmian Argument” (aka “ontological argument” since Kant) appears in more than one form in Proslogion, but its general form is well-known. In its popular form, it is that if God is that which is greater than can be thought, and if to exist is better than to not exist, then God must exist (cf. Proslogion 5). When the findings of these two ratings are combined, a platform for building up a systematic theology that describes God’s attributes is said to exist.
Several problems have been noted with this methodology. First, while we certainly have strong intuitions about certain kinds of perfections per the beings that make up those kinds, we do not have this kind of access to God’s nature. How then, do we know what counts as a great making property and what does not? For example, in rational creatures both knowledge and wisdom would certainly count as perfections, however it does not seem like these would count as perfections in dogs or horses or rocks. Only by knowing the nature of a thing can we know what would count as its perfection, yet this is the very knowledge that we are trying to attain when it comes to God. Further, we cannot learn what attributes God has without first knowing what attributes God can have, but Anselm’s method does not deliver this information. Finally, even if a list of such great-making attributes of deity could be produced using this method, the method itself does not tell us that all of these properties are compossible in one being. For example, God’s being perfectly merciful and perfectly just both seem to be intuitively great making properties, yet it is very difficult to see how they could exist together. This leads to the related problem that in order to know if any single attribute of God is possible, one would have to know if it was compatible with the rest – which is to say that we would have to know all of God’s attributes up front. Yet, again, that is the very thing that this project is supposed to accomplish.
Anselm was not unaware of these difficulties. This can be seen in a brief survey of Anselm’s consideration of the attributes that he believes his method picks out for God in both the Monologion and the Proslogion. In addition to positing God’s existence in Proslogion, Anselm finds God to be the creator and the supreme good (as well as its source), merciful, impassable, and impeccable. In Monologion, Anselm describes God as living, wise, omnipotent, true, blessed, incorporeal, eternal (i.e., atemporal), just, beautiful, immortal, incorruptible, and immutable. In both Anselm asserts the doctrine of divine simplicity. Anselm recognizes that there are sometimes difficulties found in trying to consider these properties as existing in one being (e.g., that God is both omnipotent and impeccable, merciful and impassable, just and merciful) and deals with these throughout.
Concerning “Perfect/Greatest Possible Being Theology,” even granting that everyone should understand by the name God something than which a greater cannot be thought, one’s view of what qualifies as “perfect” can end up guiding the discussion more than is warranted. What makes something a great-making property and another not? For example, Feinberg, writing against a robust view of aseity and impassibility in God, asks, “If God hears and answers our prayers, and if he changes his attitudes toward us when we repent of sin, for example, it seems that his mental and emotional states at any given moment must to some extent be influenced by what we do. But, why is that a deficiency in God?” (p.241). Feinberg’s version of PBT is also evident in his arguments against a strong view of divine immutability / omniscience (pp.264-277).
Finally, this “Perfect/Greatest Possible Being Theology” was not, for Anselm, the purely a rationalistic enterprise it is often represented as being. As will be shown below, Anselm’s method contained presuppositions from, and was circumscribed by, his faith in the authority of the Christian Scriptures and Tradition.
Anselm on Scripture and Tradition
While it is clear that both Monologion and Proslogion relied solely on Anselm’s philosophical method for their data (viz. as opposed to Scripture or tradition), it is also clear that this was simply due to the nature of Anselm’s project. It must be remembered that Anselm wrote Monologion for his brother monks who were, naturally, already believers, and he wrote Proslogion as a sort of sequel based on his self challenge to reach the same conclusions with a single argument (see the Prologue of each). In n these works, Anselm is merely seeing how far one can go with peer philosophy toward reaching the same conclusions that one would reach theologically (cf. Cur Deus Homo 1:3). What is less clear, due to its lack of similarly direct statements, is that even when Anselm is pursuing these purely philosophical projects, he remains beholden both to Scripture and to the authoritative tradition of the Church.
As William Mann notes in his discussion of Anselm’s methodological constraints, “Anselm takes his enterprise to be guided necessarily by authority, the authority of Scripture (the revealed word of God), the authority of confessional creeds formulated by Church councils (in particular, the Nicene Creed), and the authority of the Church Fathers (in particular, Augustine). It would require a book to document all these influences.” McCord-Adams lists several sources of religious knowledge that functioned as authorities for Anselm. These include (1) God, (2) Holy Scripture, (3) the creeds, (4) conciliar findings, (5) the Pope, and (6) the Church Fathers. For Anselm, then, God’s revelation (1) is expressed in Scripture (2) as well as through the Church’s authoritative tradition (3-4) and its leadership (5-6).
Scripture forms a standard which, for Anselm, cannot be contradicted by any alleged philosophical insight. He is clear when he writes, “If I say something which a greater authority does not confirm, then even though I seem to prove it rationally, it should be accepted with no other degree of certainty than that it appears this way to me for the time being, until God somehow reveals the matter to me more fully. For if I say something that unquestionably contradicts Sacred Scripture, I am certain that it is false” (Cur Deus Homo I, 18).
Although Anselm’s high regard for scriptural authority is apparent, Anselm does not always seem to feel himself constrained by the literal wording of the biblical text. Because the words of Scripture are dealing with some matters that are beyond human language, it is to be expected that even Scriptures ultimate truth will only be discovered when it is combined with other authoritative sources concerning God. Because Anselm sees each of these sources as necessarily harmonized, there is no problem in interpreting the biblical text in a less than literal way, should revealed-truth demand it.
Anselm’s respect for the Church Fathers is made evident in passages such as his introduction to Cur Deus Homo where he explains that he is writing in response to those who have asked that he do so. He says he will “attempt to present to those who make this request what God sees fit to reveal to me, even though the holy fathers have said what ought to be sufficient on the subject.” In his prologue to the Monologion, after Anselm explains that in this particular project he would establish nothing but the authority of Scripture but by reason alone, he then goes on to say that he “could not find that I have said anything in it that was inconsistent with the writings of the Catholic Fathers.” Anselm’s dependence upon and respect for St. Augustine is manifest in more than one place as well. Anselm’s response to criticism of his Monologion from his teacher, Lanfranc, shows his indebtedness to Augustine: “It was my intention throughout this disputation to assert nothing which could not be immediately defended either from canonical Dicta or from the words of St. Augustine. And however often I look over what I have written, I cannot see that I have asserted anything that is not to be found there.” Anslem did not seem to consider himself theologically innovative: “Indeed, no reasoning of my own, however conclusive, would have persuaded me to have been the first to presume to say those things which you have copied from my work, nor several other things besides, if St. Augustine had not already proved them in the great discussions in his De trinitate.”
Anselm also saw the tradition of the Church as authoritative when it came to theological speculation. He spends several pages introducing On The Incarnation Of The Word with warnings to those who would bring challenge to the Christian faith. He asserts that, “no Christian ought to argue that something the Catholic Church believes with her heart and confesses with her lips is not true” (IOW, 1). He also indirectly cites the ecumenical creeds when he refers to the Trinity as “that thing in which we profess to be three persons.”
Anselm acknowledges his submission to Church leadership in several places. In the prologue to the Proslogion, Anselm explains that it was the Archbishop of Lyons who commanded him “by his apostolic authority” to put his name on these works (Pros., Prologue). In the first section of his letter On The Incarnation Of The Word, Anselm writes to “the lord and father of the whole church in pilgrimage on earth, the supreme Pontiff Urban,” and says that it was, “divine providence which chose your holiness to whom God entrusted the guardianship of the Christian faith and life in the governance of his church there is no one to whom one might more properly appeal if anything contrary to Catholic faith arises in the church, so that it might be corrected by your authority . . . If anything it requires amendment, it will be corrected by your censure, and if anything in it is used to the rule of truth, it will be reinforced by your authority” (IOW, 1). Anselm dedicates Cur Deus Homo to Pope Urban II with these words: “my Lord and father, Pope urban, whom all Christians should love with reference and fear with love, whom the providence of God has appointed supreme Pontiff in his church, is that the enclosed work for your holiness to examine . . . So that your authority may give approval to those things and the two that are worthy of acceptance and may correct those things that require amendment.” (CDH, Com.). Anselm also indicates the ability of the Church (via Pope Calixtus I) to pronounce heresy when he begins his response to a Trinitarian issue by saying, “if this reasoning is sound, the heresy of Sabellius is true” (IOW, 3).
The necessity of these sources for Christian theology flows from the fact of ontological distance between God and humans, but also because of the fallenness of human nature. Indeed, for Anselm legitimate theology requires preparation that involves faith, obedience, and virtuous discipline. Even so, the limits to the human intellect guarantee that mystery and ignorance will remain. These authoritative sources, then, are part of the way God seeks to overcome human limitations when his faithful seek to know him. They are thus used not only for providing initial information or premises in arguments, they also serve to delimit the number of options the Christian philosopher of religion has available to him.
As to the above authors claim to use an Anselmian approach to theology, it is clear that each eschews (whether implicitly or explicitly) important factors of Anselm’s actual theological approach.
First, Anselm’s insistence on the mystery of God’s nature and its impact of God-talk seems difficult to square with the detailed analysis proffered by the modern apologetic approach. Given Anselm’s commitment to a God that is beyond knowing or describing literally with limited human language, a significant source of difficulty may very well be that the precision with which modern approaches must operate simply cannot be attained when speaking of God. The intuitions necessary for a concept of the greatest possible being in the Anselmian sense, and the precision with which Analytic Philosophy especially (e.g., Craig) must operate may simply be unavailable if the ancient tradition of apophatic theology and / or the classical doctrine of analogy is correct.
Second, Anselm’s project in Monologion and Proslogion was undertaken with very specific delimiters that are not reflective of his greater theological method. Although famous for his “greatest possible being” axiom, it is clear that Anselm’s theological methodology incorporated much more than may at first be clear from his purely philosophical experiment. It went beyond mere “intuitions” and was bound in the end by both Scriptural teaching and Church tradition. Specifically, Anselm deliberately left the pronouncements of divine revelation to the side when forming his arguments – yet he never ignored them as orthodox boundaries. Unbound from these twin adjudicators, it is easy to see how far afield one’s theological intuitions may take them. The fact that some of these theistic apologetic practitioners have strayed from traditional Christian theology reveals that this is no mere theoretical concern. The above theologian-apologists, however, do not give serious consideration or authoritative weight to any religious authorities outside of Scripture (which, in turn, is simply interpreted according to their philosophical position – thus mitigating its role as a corrective standard).
I conclude, therefore, that it is not so much Anselmian perfect/greatest-possible being theology that is at fault for these thinkers’ unorthodox views. Rather, it seems to be the attempt to sustain their philosophical/theological interpretations of Scripture by simultaneously elevating Anselm’s theological thought experiment to a full-blown method and reducing it to a self-contained system uncoupled from its orthodox constraints. None of this proves the falsehood of the above theologians’ positions or the illegitimacy of their theological method – only that the objectively non-traditional / unorthodox / heretical positions listed above are not derived from a truly Anselmian methodology.