The Lost Legacy of Anselm's Argument: Re-thinking the Purpose of Proofs for the Existence of God

Modern Theology 27 (1):87-101 (2011)
In his?Proslogion?, Anselm presents a proof for God?s existence which has attracted a tremendous amount of scholarly attention. In spite of all that has been said about this proof and proofs for God?s existence more generally, scholarly consensus seems to dissipate when it comes to determining whether theistic proofs are persuasive and sound. In this article, I will argue that there is a way to provide compelling proof for the existence of God. To substantiate this claim, I will not attempt to prove that God exists apart from His revelation in any of the ways that have been advocated by various philosophers of religion. Rather, I will endeavor to explain that Anselm?s approach to offering evidence for God?s existence is quite different from the approach that modern philosophers tend to attribute to him and to elaborate on what that approach involves by reading Anselm?s argument in the context of Augustine?s?De Trinitate? and the whole of the?Proslogion?
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0025.2010.01656.x
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