Anselm on God’s Perfect Freedom
Rogers, Katherin A. (University of Delaware)
The Saint Anselm Journal 1.1 (Fall 2003)
According to the Catechism, “…God created the world according to his wisdom. It is not the product of any necessity whatever,…it proceeds from God’s free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom, and goodness” (section 295). Anselm and Thomas Aquinas offer significantly different analyses of divine freedom, especially freedom to create. Anselm holds that God “must” do the best. From the perspective of divine creation, setting aside the impact of creaturely free choices, ours is the best and only world God could actualize. Thomas holds that God might have made other, better or worse worlds, or he might not have created at all. I argue that Anselm’s position accords better with the Catechism and is a more philosophically and religiously adequate analysis of divine freedom.