Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm is probably the greatest theologian who lived during the time between Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. His compelling yearning to know and love God as He is revealed to us in Scriptures shaped his life and permeates all of his writings. He found the greatest joy in communion with God, but was thrusted into the difficult political scene of the 11th-12th centuries. He didn’t work well with kings and, at one point, he had most of the English leaders against him. Still, his writings have had a great influence on the Christian church, and his teachings about Christ’s sacrifice and about the relation between faith and reason are a vital part of the historical Christian Confessions.
What can Anselm teach our children? To be inquisitive and use their minds as God’s gifts to discover and understand what He has revealed in His word (Deut.29:29). Particularly, I hope the children will take time to consider and explore Anselm’s question: Why a God-man? What is the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross? What do we mean when we say, “Jesus died for our sins”? Our understanding of Christ’s atonement shapes all of our theology and our lives.
SCHEDULED TO BE PUBLISHED IN JUNE 2013
Anselm, one of the most original thinkers of the medieval west, lived in a world that is in many ways very different from ours. Yet many of Anselm’s solutions to those timeless problems of how to deal with other people and how to speak about God are fresh even today, nine hundred years after. Simonetta’s book is a very fine introduction for children to Anselm, his world and his role in it.
– Dr. Samu Niskanen, research fellow in history at Helsinki University and author of a new critical edition of Anselm’s correspondence.
“It’s delightful to see that an increasing number of Christian authors are bringing strong Christians in history to life in short biographies for young people. This short biography of Anselm of Cantebury is a good example of this wonderful trend. Young readers will become familiar with a man that sadly few have ever heard of, but who should be remembered for his witness of God’s work.”
–Tom Garfield, Superintendent, Logos School, Moscow, Idaho
Simonetta Carr has again rendered a great service to lovers of church history, and perhaps even more, a service to those not yet captivated by that love. In her sixth biography for young readers, adults and youth alike will rediscover godly Anselm, a man rarely heard of today, but who you will be pleased to get to know. With her usual grace, Carr fascinates us with her subject, making the reader yearn to know more. Though Anselm lived in times and church settings vastly different than our own, this delightful recounting of his story reveals to us a man facing trials and pressures we can identify with, in his fervent pursuit of God. Filled with their trademark beautiful artwork, this set is rapidly becoming one of the finest collections on the characters of church history to be published in many decades. Well done, Simonetta! I cannot recommend these volumes highly enough.
– Dennis Gundersen, President and Owner, Grace and Truth Books and author of Your Child’s Profession of Faith.
The book is very well informed with clear purpose, explaining such important concepts in a very understandable and imaginative way. The story was instructive and informative. One can easily see the moral and spiritual application for children today. In a very subtle, and yet clear way, Simonetta has relayed the importance of theology for our piety and practice as Christians, especially the central role the work of Christ played in Anselm’s work. Overall, I thought it was a creative and edifying outworking of Anselm’s life with a natural discussion of his life events. I especially appreciated the manner in which Simonetta dealt with the delicate topics of the pope and the church/state without being polemical or overly zealous. She did an excellent job in showing how different the religious landscape was and how we cannot place our situation with Rome back into history.
Tim Massaro, WSC Master of Divinity student