ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

150. Philosophy and Theology. -- The spirit of St. Augustine breathes through the formulas that give expression to St. Anselm's theory here. Crede ut intelligas. That is to say, firstly, that faith goes before reason inasmuch as it is the purifier of the soul; but, secondly and especially, that faith must be perfected and completed by a rational study of the contents of revelation; in other words, that philosophy should be at the service of theology. Applying this principle himself, Anselm undertook to give a rational justification of dogma, making some reserves, however, in regard to the demonstrative force of his arguments. "He borders unconsciously on rationalism, without falling into it."{1}

In his investigations he is brought face to face with numerous philosophical questions. "St. Anselm thought he was writing only theology; in reality he was also developing the germ of a distinct system of philosophy."{2}

{1} HEITZ, Essai historique sur les rapports entre la philosophie et la foi de Berenger de Tours à Thomas d'Aquin (Paris, 1909), p. 63.

{2} DOMET DE VORGES, S. Anselme, p. 328. The crede ut intelligas applies then, literally, only to theology. But M. Domet de Vorges remarks that in the thought of St. Anselm the aphorism has a wider scope and applies to the dispositions of all who want to attain to truth: "to believe in the truth is a necessary disposition -for discovering it" (op. cit., p. 135).

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