Traces of History in St. Anselm

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This paper is a schematic consideration of the relationship between reason and history through the figure of St. Anselm of Canterbury, the very exemplar, one might suppose, of the pre-modern absence of historical consciousness. I argue that while Anselm may offend a maximal number of contemporary scholarly habits of mind, whether historicist, secular, or simply argumentative, he is at the front lines of a classic question recently posed by Alain Badiou, namely how much can one think outside of one's time? This question expresses an anxiety concerning both what it is possible and/or permissible to think at any given time and what time or history have to do with thinking as such—an anxiety neatly symbolized, I claim, by the leaden specter of the ontological argument. What, it might rightly be asked, is Anselm's argument to us? A provocation, certainly; a theory, possibly.

Traces of History in St. Anselm

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 9 9 5
Full Text Views 11 11 5
PDF Downloads 4 4 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0