Mercy and Justice in St. Anselm's Proslogion

An important issue raised and resolved in St. Anselm’s Proslogion is the compatibility between justice and mercy as divine attributes. In this paper I argue (1) that Anselm’s discussion of divine justice and mercy is an exploration of God’s nature as quo maius cogitari non potest, and (2) that his discussion contributes to a better understanding of the complicated relationship between God and creatures—including the creatures attempting to know or argue about God. It seems at first that God’s mercy must be in contradiction with God’s justice. On the basis of a more adequate way of framing the issue, however—one that requires reference to other parts of the Proslogion and is supported by the Monologion—we can grasp, though not fully comprehend, the harmony between divine justice and divine mercy
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DOI 10.5840/acpq200680128
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