Translated with an Introduction and Philosophical Commentary by M. J. Charlesworth
In the Proslogion, St. Anselm presents a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Anselm’s proof, known since the time of Kant as the ontological argument for the existence of God, has played an important role in the history of philosophy and has been incorporated in various forms into the systems of Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel, and others.
Included in this edition of the Proslogion are Gaunilo’s “A Reply on Behalf of the Fool” and St. Anselm’s “The Author’s Reply to Gaunilo.” All three works are in the original Latin with English translation on facing pages. Professor Charlesworth’s introduction provides a helpful discussion of the context of the Proslogion in the theological tradition and in Anselm’s own thought and writing.
“An excellent translation, introduction, and commentary on this important theological treatise. . . . [The author’s] point of view is that though Anselm sees reason as operating within the realm of faith, he also sees it as operating ‘prior to and independently of faith’ so that the argument of this treatise is intended to have validity not only for the believer but also for the unbeliever.” — Choice
“A most useful edition, with Latin text and Professor Charlesworth’s lucid translation on facing pages. The Introduction consists of a succinct historical sketch of the ontological argument, a biographical chapter on St. Anselm and his times, and an illuminating exposition of his thought, with particular reference to the relationship of his ideas to those of St. Augustine, and a thoroughgoing refutation of Barth’s interpretation of Anselm.” — Reprint Bulletin Book Reviews