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Anselm of Canterbury: A Monastic Scholar
Sister Benedicta Ward SLG entered the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God in 1955. She teaches spirituality in the University of Oxford and is an Emeritus Fellow of Harris Manchester College. She has written a number of books on early monasticism and on the Middle Ages, and is one of the world’s leading writers on the legacy of the Desert Fathers. Her published works include books on the Desert Fathers, the Venerable Bede and St Anselm, and on miracles and relics in the Christian tradition.
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Saint Anselm (1033-1109), Abbot of the Monastery of Bec in northern France, became Archbishop of Canterbury under William Rufus and Henry I. In her short study of one of the most original thinkers of the early Middle Ages, Sister Benedicta discusses the relationship between Anselm’s scholarship and his life as a monk. He combines a disciplined mind with simplicity, love, compassion and gentleness. His understanding of the inter-connections of reason and faith, thought and prayer, remains significant for Christian theology.