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Christine ChungPerson was signed in when posted
10:58 PM ET (US)
The most profound religious issue that Anslem considered about was the status of Virgin Mary. According to documents in Xerox, Anslem emphasized on the highest quality of the God by praising him as a creator and the highest one above all living things. However, even though Vigrin Mary is not a God, Anslem considered her status as the same way he did to the God. Virign Mary is a human being. Also, she is one of the God's creations. Then, how Anslem could even consider Virgin Mary as almost same as the God?
In my opinion, Anslem might think that the God chose Virgin Mary as a super holy person among human beings. It means she is special. Therefore, Anslem might think that Virgin Mary was closer to the God than other people. So, Alslem might think that Virgin Mary could do what the God do because Virgin Mary is a mother of the son of the God.
Marissa Bond
05:38 PM ET (US)
Falling in under the "(or otherwise)" category:

Anslem's veiw on the Fall and hell are rather curious to me. In his dialogues On Freedom of Choice, Anslem defines freedom of choice as "the ability to keep uprightness of will for its own sake", but grants that even still though the ability to sin has nothing to do with freedom of
choice, Adam and Satan still "sinned through the ability to sin and through free choice." Can one gather from this piece that the freedom of choice before the fall is separate from the what (for the sake of clarity) can be called freedom of will (after the fall), and that the will
is freedom of ability to sin, where as the freedom of choice is the ability to uphold righteousness? For the will can be turned by temptation and what it's greater desire is, which is not that original freedom of choice that was given to Satan and Adam, where in no way the will can be
turned from the desire of upholding uprightness? But then, I am still unclear. If, as the later passages suggest, it is temptation that appeals to the will and turns it and thereby turns the choice, then how can it also be said that Satan and Adam "sinned by their own choice, which was so
free that it could not be compelled by any other thing to sin." If there was nothing to compell or tempt the will, and the will had an "ability not to sin that could in no way be turned from uprightness", the how could it
be that the Adam and Satan could even conceive of sinning, much less create within themselves the ability and desire to turn their wills?
    Also, I am curious about Anslem's veiws on how man may be redeemed from hell. In his poems, he makes references to freeing sould in hell and restoring fallen angels. These references are different from the way he portrays life on earth, so I doubt that he is making references to life on earth being a a state of hell (just by seperation from God, which is a definition of hell and could be used artistically), but actually that Christ frees souls from hell. Is this an early idea of purgatory being a definite place, the a building on Gehenna (although that may be
anachronistic), or perhaps that Jesus freed souls from hell when he decended to take the keys of hell and death from Satan ( I have read somewhere that he preached to those in hell, yet I am not sure if he freed some then). Is he talking about these incidents, or does he believe that
there will be a time when those in hell can appeal to Christ?
Anne Colyn
10:51 AM ET (US)
Re: "prayer to the holy cross"

What struck me in the first place was the personnification of the Holy Cross, and as such become addressed by Anselm in the salvation of his sins. The association with God is understandable through the crucification and all the meaning this implies for christians. Yet, Anselm writes "Most precious wood, by whom we are saved and set free,/sign to be reverenced, by which we are sealed for God,/glorious cross, we ought to glory only in you." Why does Anselm personnify the cross? Much in the same respect of postings on the Mary's cure of sins, I wonder why this intermediary to God - and for that matter the cross - as an object to be saved by?
Edited 03-31-2003 10:52 AM
Emily Rosenberry
09:51 AM ET (US)
How can Mary cure sins?

I am intreagued by the idea of Mary forgiving sins, and as mentioned by Sarah, Sarah and Jess, Mary's power resides in her position as Christ's mother and as a completely pure human being, but why is her intercession necessary? Why do the people at this time create an extra step between themselves and God? Why does Mary have to plead for the forgiveness of sins of humans to God? Is it because the people are trying to recognize that perfection in a human is possible like they did with the other saints and relics of those saints? Or is it that they want to think that their case is being actively attended to by some great soul? But then where is God?
Julie Bednarski
07:00 AM ET (US)
Redemption and the nature of Christ:
Anselm explains the requirements for human redemption in such a way, that it could only be brought about by a sinless yet completely human redeemer. However, “human nature nor anything that was not God could suffice for this (TOMCAT 325)”, because unredeemed man cannot be without sin. Thus the Redeemer must be simultaneously completely human and completely divine. Anselm explains both natures of Christ by stating, “You declared yourself to be true God; by what you did you showed yourself to be true man (TOMCAT 324)”. In order to redeem humanity, Christ exemplified human nature’s purest form of free will. The price of man’s redemption was a willing gift, from humanity to God, which could only be given by the one who owed nothing. In his prayer to St. Mary (3), Anselm beautifully describes redemption as “Godůmade himself of Mary, and thus refashioned everything he had made”. Through redemption, man can receive salvation, but only if he willingly loves and accepts Christ’s redemptive death.
Lyndsey Schutte
12:43 AM ET (US)
What is Christ like? How wrathful or approachable is God?
Christ is seen as a much 'warmer' character than the Father or Lord God. Christ is the one that came down to a human level to save the human race.
Anselm's world is shaped by a huge gulf between him and God, between his and God's abilities, and between what he 'can' and what he 'ought' to do. Balancing out this huge division is God's merciful love. God's love is as great as it could and should be for an all-powerful being, and therefore in able to create an approachable, fatherly, intimate relationship with man.
However, Anselm's sinfulness does get in the love of God. God is sometimes seen as the inapproachable, harsh, judge. This is the bases for the prayers to the saints. It's using people who are friends of God to reach toward a wrathful, unreachable ruler who has been wronged.
Sarah Kutner
11:37 PM ET (US)
How can Mary cure sins?

Adding on to what Sarah and Jess said, Mary interceeds with Jesus because he is her son as all of human kind is her son. Unless I understood this wrong, G-d is the father of all including Mary, and Mary births G-d which in some weird and circular way makes all the brother of G-d. "The good mother prays and beseeches for us, she asks and pleads that he may hear us favourably. She pleads with the son on behalf of the sons... The son hears the mother on behalf of his brothers."
Mary is also described as "Queen of the Angels" which (depending on how one looks at Angels) could allow her to interceed and correctly direct a person away from sin.
Alexandra Polly
11:26 PM ET (US)
RE: How can Mary cure sins?

I thought that both of the postings about this topic were very interesting and I agree with the basic ideas mentioned in them. Anselm believes that Mary can cure sins because of her ties to God and that because of this is deemed a holy person. The movement from mother to 'saint' in peoples eyes is very interesting to me, why suddenly are the people praying to a earthly woman and not to G-d or Jesus as has been practiced. I understand that she is the mother of Jesus therefore she can be a mother to all of his followers but still it is confusing that she, a human being, a woman, can suddenly be capable of forgiving sins that once was only the duty of the heavenly beings. I agree with the first posting here because why not simply continue praying to G-d for your sins to be forgiven? Simply because of a womans goodness and mercy she is capable of forgiving sins and by extension forgiven by G-d? What brought about this change in the belief and practices of this time?
Sarah Pagni
10:21 PM ET (US)
How can Mary cure sins?

 Anselm thought that Mary could cure sins through her relationship with God and her great purity and mercy. She is Jesus’ earthly mother and therefore she has an extremely close relationship with Jesus and God. By praying to her, she would be able to an intercessor to Jesus and God. She would be able to take your side in being forgiven. The people of the church are God’s children and the siblings of Jesus and by extension that make Mary our mother as well. She is forgives you through love of her children. A mother tends to be more forgiving than a complete stranger. And Mary is a very loving mother. Like Jess said, she also very pure and through that purity she has great mercy. It is this great mercy that causes her to forgive sins.
Jess Carlin
08:59 PM ET (US)
How can Mary cure sins?

The idea of Mary as a forgiver of sins is an important one throughout the Middle Ages, culminating in Alfonso X's Cantigas de Santa Maria. Anselm also ponders Mary and the role she plays in Christianity. For Anselm, Mary is the "Most holy after God," and is the most pure and good. Because she is so good and pure, she is, by extension, merciful. Anselm says: "What I want to ask you, Lady, is that by a glance from your mercy, you will cure the sickness and ulcers of my sins." By forgiving sins with her great mercy, Mary is removing "filth that offends you." Furthermore, when one's sins are forgiven by Mary, they are, by extension, forgiven by God. Yet why not simply pray to God for your sins to be forgiven? Because Mary is the great mother, one can almost be reborn through her forgiveness of sins. Anslem says "Through your fruitfulness, Lady, the sinner is cleansed and justified" Mary is also more merciful, and therefore, more likely to easily forgive sins.
Sarah Signor
07:53 PM ET (US)
I think it is really interesting how in the first chapter of 'On Freedom of Choice' Anselms states that the ability to sin is not a of the will. His disciple first asserts that the will that may choose between sinning and uprightness is the more free of the two- yet because the will that may sin may also lose that which is 'fitting and advantageous' it is, to Anselm, the less free of the two wills. I also think it is really interesting that because god and the angels must possess all that man has, they must have the ability to choose. Yet their possession of the ability to choose also requires that the ability to sin not be a part of this. I am also a little confused about how Anselm's notions of free choice fit in with previous theology. For here it would appear that the free will has become seperate from sin, and that free choice in no way invovles the ability to sin. This is so far removed from Augustine, I think, in that for Augustine you had two choices: the freedom of god's grace or the slavery of sin. And yet here the grace of god is not necessary for this freedom, nor is it compromised by sinning, as Anselm discusses in Chapter three. It is very interesting to see this evolution, to what seems to me, to be a very personally empowering theology.
Anna KwonPerson was signed in when posted
05:06 PM ET (US)
Re: Secular values and Anselm's ideas about God/humanity
Anselm's writings were deeply infused with secular values such as the rendering of service and gratitude where it was due, ties of honor and responsibility between individuals in earthly relationships, and the role of pleasure, or the human senses, in life. According to Anselm, in order to serve God for a higher good that God alone could inspire in him, God had to "give me what you have made me want: grant that I may love you as much as you command" (p.306). Compare this with Augustine's "give what you command, and then command what you will". In this sense, Anselm had to repay the debt of salvation on his part to the best of his abilities, but to that end God had to provide the means of doing so. Also, it is left up to Anselm to praise, love, and worship God; but is up to God to grant mercy. In Anselm's Prayer to St. Mary, we see the importance Anselm placed on the different relationships that existed in his society transferred to a Christian context. For example, the relationship between creator and creation, mother and son, and master/lady and servant translated into: creation had to serve God faithfully, and God would be merciful; Mary gave birth to Jesus, and Jesus would have mercy on those who prayed to Mary for mercy; God the Master saved man through dear death on the Cross, and man would believe, be saved, and be an obedient servant until his own death.
For Anselm, God and humanity were linked by the senses. In the deepest religious sense, God became man in order to save man; he thus experienced all that man experienced-hunger, thirst, and temptation. Anselm expressed this linkage to God through human sensory experiences by his ardent claim that " I thirst for you, I hunger for you, I desire you, I sigh for you, I covet you" (p.307). Again, a striking similarity to Augustine's "and yet do I love a kind of light, a kind of voice, a certain fragrance, a food and an embrace, when I love my God" (p.185) is present. At many levels then, including the very basic one of human senses, Anselm’s ideas about God and humanity were structured by secular values.
Carole StrawPerson was signed in when posted
03:05 PM ET (US)

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