Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.
Showing posts with label School of Laon on Natural Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School of Laon on Natural Law. Show all posts

Monday, March 29, 2010

St. Anselm of Laon: Natural Law as Locus Spatiosus, a "Large Place"

ST. ANSELM OF LAON'S DOCTRINE OF THE NATURAL LAW is found in both allegorical interpretations of Scripture such as those found in his glosses on scripture, and in the more systematic doctrinal treatments in his Sententiae. In terms of the natural law, St. Anselm's glosses that relate to the natural law begin, as might be expected, with the Pauline foundation in Romans 2:14-15. Then, guided by the doctrines of Sts. Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine and other Church Fathers, including the brilliant, if misfitted theologian Origen, he arrives at a sort of synthetic view of the natural law. All of what Anselm of Laon synthesized was found in germ or even in maturing bloom in the writings of the Church Fathers. "Ambrose, Jerome, Origen, and Augustine had all discussed Paul's remark [in Romans 2:14-15], and their discussions were systematized in the School of Laon." John Marenbon, "The Rise of Scholastic Philosophy," in A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics (Dordrecht: Springer, 2007), 272.

According to John Marenbon, Anselm of Laon distinguished three periods of sacred history subsequent to the Fall, each which could be distinguished by its own law. There was the period between the Fall and the Mosaic dispensation, "the period of the natural law," the lex naturalis. There was the period of the Mosaic dispensation, the period of the "old law," the vetus lex, a law whose heart was the Ten Commandments, which confirmed and repeated the natural law, and also contained the "figural commandments" that included its various ritual, dietary, and religious ceremonies. Finally, there was the period of the "new law, preached by Christ." Marenbon (2007), 272. The evangelical law, the law of the Gospel, was built upon the natural law, both the natural law as imparted to the Gentiles, and the natural law as confirmed by the Mosaic law, for per hanc ergo legem Christi patuit ingressus legi evangelicae. Enarr. in Matt. (162 PL 1233-34).

An example of St. Anselm's allegorical interpretation of Scripture is his Commentary on Matthew, the Enarrationes in Matthaeum, as contained in Volume 162 of Migne's Patrologia Latina, in particular St. Anselm's interpretation of Christ's Sermon on the Mount as it is related in Chapters 5 through 7 of the Gospel of Matthew, his gloss on the Parable of the Talents, and his description of Isaac as the son of Abraham in the first chapter of Matthew. Linking these three glosses together provides us with a view of St. Anselm's (or at least his school's, since St. Anselm may not be its author) general understanding of the doctrine of the natural law as it influence his gloss on the Scriptures.

Four Figures, Cathedral of Laon

In commenting on that part of the Gospels where Jesus, seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and preached his Sermon on the Mount (thereby promulgated the law of the New Testament which was to be the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law), St. Anselm distinguishes between the two laws by looking at the different manners in which they were promulgated to mankind. This gloss is upon the words, "And opening his mouth," et aperiens os suum. (Matt. 5:2). The giving of the Evangelical law by Christ, which began by the opening of his mouth, differs substantially from the way the Mosaic law was revealed. The Mosaic law, St. Anselm observes, was given in terror and in smoke, in a whirlwind, with the people huddled in fear as they surrounded the mountains [Ex. 19:16-18]. But in the giving of New Law of Christ, there was nothing like this; rather, all was done in peace, and the law was taught to the crowds, not with a spirit of fear, but in a spirit of love. Alia lex data est in terrore, quia fumus et turbae et procellae fuerunt circa montem. In datione Novi Testamenti nihil horum, sed totum in tranquillitate fuit factum, ut doceret hanc legem non timere, sed amore complendam esse. Moreover, the Mosaic law was written in stone, the evangelical law given by Christ was written in the heart: Alia lex scripta est in lapidus, ista in cordibus. 126 PL 1283. So both in manner of promulgation, and in the manner of publication, the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ differ. There is, however, a shared corpus of law between the Mosaic law and the Christian law, and that corpus is the natural law. St. Anselm addresses the issue of the Mosaic law to the Gentiles in his gloss of Matthew 25:24, specifically, in the context of Christ's parable regarding the talents.

St. Anselm discusses law in the context of Christ's parable regarding the talents, and the comments of the servant who buried his one talent, and who comes to his master with the excuse: "Lord, I know that you are a hard man," Domine scio quia homo durus es. In his Commentary, St. Anselm interprets these words as follows. The servant may be seen as speaking allegorically of the precepts of the Mosaic law in that they were hard and confining, dura et arcta. "Thou reapest where thou hast not sown," metis ubi non seminasti. From the vantage point of the servant, the master's hardness is also observed in that the master reaps where he did not sow, meaning in this case, outside of the written law. The Gentiles are the field where the master reaps where he has not sown the written law, in quibus tu non seminasti legem scriptam, and these last were without the (written) law, sine lege fuerunt, and even so the master reaped among them. That is the master harvested them with the pruning hook of justice, and condemned those who have done wrong, even those which lacked the seeds of the written law.
Dicit ergo servus nequam: Domine, scio quia homo durus es, etc. Id est, dura et arcta praecepta habes, et in hoc noto duritiam tuam, quod tu metis ubi non seminasti. Gentiles sunt, in quibus tu non seminasti legem scriptam, imo sine lege fuerunt, et tamen metis eos, id est falce judicii praecidis eos, et damnas, quia male operantur, quamvis semine scriptae legis careant.
126 PL 1461. St. Anselm continues his gloss on the Matthean text, specifically, "and gatherest where thou hast not strewed," et congregas ubi non sparsisti. This refers to the Gentiles, where the master did not sow the written law. To gather together: that is said of them to whom the master did not strew by public proclamation of the written law; the power to congregate may be interpreted as the power of the master to gather fruit into the storehouse of heaven. For the master saves these persons to which the written law was not announced, such as Job, through the natural law. And in comparison with those who obey the natural law, the master will damn those who neglect the written law. "And being afraid," et timens. For that reason, explains St. Anselm, the Lord gathers those who, having in fear have been tested, walk in the higher life seeking salvation, and indeed, do not follow the other (lower) life. "I went," et ipse abii, those who go by free will, "and hid thy talent," et abscondi talentum tuum, that is, did not proclaim the master, having been given knowledge of him, but hid, "in the earth," in terra, that is, pass their time in a carnal life, and as those who have held the master's talent, without increase or decrease. "Behold here thou hast that which is thine," Ecce habes quod tuum est.
Et congregas, ubi non sparsisti. Quia quosdam gentilium, ubi non sparsisti scriptam legem, congregas; scilicet de illis, in quibus nihil praedicationis seminasti, vis tibi congregare fructum in horreo coelesti. Quosdam enim salvas per legem naturalem, sicut Job, quibus lex scripta non fuit nuntiata, et eorum comparatione, qui naturalem legem servant, damnas eos, qui negligunt scriptam; et ideo ego timens aggredi gradum altioris vitae, ne scilicet alterius salutem quaerens, periclitarer. Et ipse abii, per liberum arbitrium, et abscondi talentum tuum, id est, non praedicavi quod te donante intellexi, sed abscondi in terra, id est, in carnali vita degens, et sicut habui, sic tenui talentum tuum, non augens vel minuens. Ecce habes quod tuum est.
126 PL 1461. All these allegorical interpretations follow St. Anselm's allegorical gloss on a portion of Matthew 1:2, "Abraham begot Isaac," a simple Scriptural phrase which yields a tremendous gloss in introduction to the Gospel. Christ, St. Anselm states, is prefigured in Abraham. Just as Abraham had two children, one from a maidservant, and the other from his wife, one by nature, the other by promise or covenant, so Christ has generated two peoples, the Jews, which are signified by Ismael, who was born of Hagar, and the Gentiles, which are signified by Isaac who was born of Sarah. Those of the old law, the lex vetus, are represented by Ismael, hoc est de veteri lege. Ismael, moreover, is to be understood as the Jews who heard the law, but were not doers of the law. Hagar, Ismael's mother, also is typical. Hagar is alienated, which is to be interpreted that the old law was carnal and alienated from God. The other son of Abraham, Isaac by name and born of Sarah, is to be interpreted as the Gentiles, that is, those of the New Testament. Isaac (the name of which, according to the Scripture, means "laughter") may be interpreted as the conversion of the Gentiles, St. Anselm states, since the coming around of the Gentiles gave all the faithful and all the angels great joy. And Sarah's precedence over Hagar is to be interpreted as the new law which law is to take precedence among all men, Sara princeps interpretatur, quia nova lex inter omnes leges principatum tenet. 126 PL 1232.

St. Anselm has a similar gloss on Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, Abraham's son. Rebecca appears to be a type of the Church. Rebecca, St. Anselm reminds us, did not only give to Abraham's servant something to drink (see Gen. 24:11-20), but also provided water to the servants' camels, which signifies that the Church gathers together all people and offers all to drink by her public declaration, wherefore Paul states that both the wise and the foolish are indebted (Romans Chapter 1). Laban, Rebecca's brother, who invites the one called the blessed servant of the Lord into his house, signifies anyone who lives in the flesh, yet who announces the virtues of the holy doctors, and honors them, and through them Isaac, who signifies those who go to Christ. The "large place," the locus spatiosus, that Rebecca had for Abraham's servant to lodge (Gen. 24:25) is the natural law, which existed before Christ came. It is a large place, for it is intended to hold all men called to be redeemed. For through that law Christ opened up a pathway to the law of the Gospel, per hanc ergo legem Christi patuit ingressus legi evangelicae. 162 PL 1233-34.

Nave, Cathedral of Laon

In the Systematic Sentences attributed to him,* St. Anselm addresses the issue of in what mode and time mankind was repaired or regenerated by God. It is a given that man is unable to repair the rift between himself and God that occurred after the Fall. The breach was overcome by law: first, the natural law, then the Mosaic law, and finally, the law of the Gospel. In all events, however, God, however, supplied the means of salvation Christ, working through the natural law as the foundation. Before the coming of Christ, faith was implicit in the natural law and in sacrifice, even as it was in the Mosaic law, both its natural law components and its figurative (ritual, dietary, etc.) law. After Christ's coming, faith is no longer implicit, but explicit. Yet the foundation of Christ's salvific plan remains the natural law.

"The means was the Law, at first the natural law, after it, it having been put to sleep as it were, the written law of Moses. At the time of grace, the spirit writing it [the natural law] in the heart, that is, faith operating out of love." Modus vero fuit lex, prius naturalis; postea vero, ea sopita, lex per Moysen scripta; tempore autem gratie spiritus scribens in corde, id est, fides operans ex dilictione."

"The natural law is this: what you do not want done to you, do not do to another." Lex naturalis hec est: quod tibi no vis fieri, alii ne feceris.

"In whatever manner a person protects and preserves unstained the image of his creator, and pays the penalty that the law mandates be paid, in this way he restores free will to himself." Quam qui custodiret, penitus legis mandata compleret, et creatoris sui imaginem in se incorruptam conservaret, sicque liberum arbitrium in se restauret.

"The law of the commandments is: you shall not commit adultery, nor shall you desire your neighbor's goods, et cetera. He who faithful observes the natural law, will not do these things, constantly in my judgment, for he will not want done to himself."
Lex mandatorum ets: non adulterabis, nec concupisces rem proximi tui, et cetera. Quod legem naturalem fideliter observantem non facturm, constanter iudico; hec enim sibi fieri non vult.

"Therefore, through the natural law and sacrifice, which man from the beginning offered of himself to fulfill the will of God, man was able to conserve the image of God in him, and to avoid eternal punishment without impediment." Per naturalem igitur legem et sacrificia, que sibi a primo homine etiam fieri voluit deus, imago dei in homine potuit conservari, et eterna pena sine impedimento vitari.

"The natural law therefore is divided into three parts, that God that is known be obediently and in all things followed, and next, that one should show as much mercy to one's neighbor as God faithfully showers upon him, and whatever one has, it should be relinquished to the hope of the good of a future life." Lex autem naturalis in tres partes dividitur, ut deus agnitus obedienter in omnibus diligatur, et ut proximo misericordia propter deum fideliter impendatur, et exemplum bone vite posteris, quantum in ipsis est, relinquatur.

"Accordingly the faithful which were under the natural law and by the oblation of sacrifice and faith in the coming of Christ, and certain only in the virtue of faith, accepted the remission of sins. Of which, as [the venerable] Bede testifies to, there are also certain souls, that is, children, who have died before the age of discretion, commended by the creator, who are to be absolved from the first chains of punishment, and will be saved." Hii ergo fideles, qui erant, sub hac naturali lege per sacrifiorum oblationes et fidem venturi Christi, vel certe sola fidei virtute, remissionem peccatorum acceperunt. Quibus, et Beda testatur, quas suorumque animas, id est, puerorum, qui ante annos discretionis moribantur, creatori commendantes, a primi reatus vinculis absolvere curabant.

For St. Anselm of Laon, therefore, the natural law before the coming of Christ and the Mosaic law were salvific in an anticipatory, contingent way, as they anticipated the coming of Christ and faith in Christ was contained in those laws implicite, that is, implicitly. These two laws enabled their followers to live good and virtuous lives, though they had to await the sacrificial death of Christ, the harrowing of "Hell" (the so-called "limbo of the Fathers," or limbus patrum), and the opening of the gates of Heaven, before eternal life was opened to them. Following the Christian dispensation, baptism was the remedy for original sin. Faith is to be had expressly in Christ in the new dispensation. During the time of the Patriarchs, it was the offering of gifts and sacrifices to God, and the implicit faith in Christ therein contained, that save the Patriarch. In the time of the Mosaic dispensation until Christ's coming, it was circumcision, and the implicit faith in Christ therein contained that saved the disciple of Moses. Marenbon (2007), 272.

One might summarize St. Anselm of Laon's teaching on the natural law as the big room, the locus spatiosus, the big tent, in which all men are invited. It is the law which remains a pathway for the law of the Gospel, per hanc ergo legem Christi patuit ingressus legi evangelicae. The natural law is the Golden Rule. It is not a law of terror, or of fear, but of love and of peace. It is not an external law imposed upon us by on high; rather, it is an intimate, internal law, one of spirit, written upon our very heart. Understood in the light of Christ, the natural law, like Sarah over Hagar, takes precedence over all other laws. It requires us to love God, love our neighbor, and remember our last end and eternal destiny.

But for all his work, St. Anselm of Laon was sort of a Biblical St. John the Baptist. He had to decrease so that his successors could increase. As Southern put it:
Master Anselm may reasonably be held to be the master of all later medieval students of the biblical text, though his own personal contribution gradually sank out of sight under the weight of the elaborations of more learned successors. He was the inconspicuous fountain head of the mighty river of the biblical contribution to scholastic thought--the Donaueschingen [source of the Danube] no less into which his successors cast their offerings.
. . . .
This was the fate of Master Anselm: having captured the central ground of scholastic learning because is method and its results met with a widespread demand, he was buried under the elaborations of pupils and pupils' pupils.
Southern, 48, 35.

But this would not have bothered St. Anselm, we trust. One would hope that St. Anselm would have been the first to know the rule: sic transit gloria mundi.

*The Latin quotations from Anselm of Laon's Systematic Sentences are taken from F. P. Bliemetzrieder, Systematische Sentenzen (1919). The text can be found on

Sunday, March 28, 2010

St. Anselm of Laon: Glossing the Natural Law

HOWBEIT THAT AFTER ADAM'S FALL there were men that were considered virtuous and pleasing to God before the advent of the Mosaic law? How is it that those who flourished between Adam's fall and the revelation of Mosaic law, for example Abel, suffering as they were from original sin, can be said to have lived virtuous or morally good lives, lives consonant with the will of God? Could these men, without either the Law or Faith in Christ, be saved? This was one of the several questions that preoccupied the Dean and Chancellor of the Cathedral at Laon, St. Anselm of Laon [Anselmus Laudinensis], who flourished in the early 12th century. We do not know the date of his birth, but we know that he died in 1117. His brother, Ralph, also an exegete and theologian, took over headship of the School of Laon for at least another decade.

St. Anselm of Laon was the headmaster of the famous school of theology and Scriptural exegesis, the Cathedral School of Laon, a school which Crowe states "dominated the theology of the early twelfth century," one that was "particularly preoccupied with the natural law." Crowe, 80. Modernly, the School of Laon is hardly known. So perhaps R. W. Southern's comments are true with both respect to Laon and to St. Anselm and the School of Laon: "Laon was a city with a great past, an uncertain present, and an insignificant future." R. W. Southern, Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe (Malden: Blackwell, 2001), II, 29.

St. Anselm's chief work is his Glossa interlinearis or Glossa interlineans, a commentary on the entire Vulgate; how much of it is actually his and not also his schools' work is hard to evince, though scholars have tried. The Glossa interlinearis was regarded as one of the two chief exegetical works of the medieval church, its only competitor being the Glossa ordinaria of Walafrid of Strabo. These two glosses on the words of the Latin Vulgate were celebrated in their day. Their names come from the fact that by the 12th century, Bibles were published with one gloss on the text (attributed to St. Anselm) interlineated above the words of the Biblical text which it explained, while the other (Strabo's, the older and more "ordinary") was marginalized beside the Biblical text it sought to elaborate. Thus we find published Bibles with the titles as follows: Biblia latina una cum glossa ordinaria Walafridi Strabonis et interlineari Anselmi Laudunensis, "Latin Bible With the Ordinary Gloss of Walafridi of Strabo and the Interlineated of Anselm of Laon." Eventually, the practice was extended to add the Postilla of Nicholas of Lyra and the Additiones of Paulus Burgensis at the foot of the published Scriptures. Essentially, these bibles were "study" bibles avant la lettre.

The Rebdorf Psalter: Book of Psalms with Gloss by Anselm of Laon
From the Schøyen Collection

In his Encyclical on Biblical Studies, Pope Leo XIII mentioned both St. Anselm of Laon and Walafrid of Strabo in discussing the state of Biblical studies from the time of the Church Fathers up until the time of the Scholastic theologians:
From this period down to the eleventh century, although Biblical studies did not flourish with the same vigor and the same fruitfulness as before, yet they did flourish, and principally by the instrumentality of the clergy. It was their care and solicitude that selected the best and most useful things that the ancients had left, arranged them in order, and published them with additions of their own - as did S. Isidore of Seville, Venerable Bede, and Alcuin, among the most prominent; it was they who illustrated the sacred pages with "glosses" or short commentaries, as we see in Walafrid Strabo and St. Anselm of Laon.
Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, No. 7. It is likely that the Glossa interlinearis is not entirely the product of St. Anselm himself, but an amalgamation containing some of his work and the work of others synthesized by his Cathedral School.

St. Anselm's opinions (known as sententiae) during his morning lectures, and re-discussed during the evening sessions or collatio or declatio, were recorded by his students or perhaps by amanuenses, and these were later gathered together in florilegium collections, often with little systematicization. Sabø, at 248; Southern, 36 ff., 45. Like the Glossa interlinearis, in such florilegium collections it is often difficult to discern which sententiae are St. Anselm's, and which are wrongly attributed to him.

Systematic Sentences attributed to St. Anselm of Laon

Not much is known about St. Anselm of Laon. And there is a split in camps as to how he ought to be considered. On the one hand, Gilbert, Abbot of Novigento, in his preface of his Bartholomew, bishop of Laon, characterizes St. Anselm of Laon as one of the two clear lights of his age among all the stars, the sun of the age, as compared to the other, lesser light on the left, being his brother, Ralph, also a biblical scholar and theologian. The Church, it may be noted, has canonized St. Anselm of Laon as a Saint, who is thus raised to her altars. In Book III of that life, Gilbert characterizes St. Anselm is the man of all France, whose liberal disciplinary and tranquil moral teachings enlightened the entire Latin-speaking world. On the other hand, poor St. Anselm is stained by the acerbic pen of the master wit and enfant terrible, Peter Abelard. In his Historia Calamitatum, Peter Abelard describes St. Anselm thus:
And so I enrolled under this old man [senem] whose great name rested on long practice rather than on ability or learning. If one doubt about some point consulted him, he left him in grater doubt. He was a wonder in the minds of his listeners, but a nobody in the estimate of his questioners. He had a remarkable command of language, but it was despicable with respect to meaning and devoid of sense [sed sensum contemptibilem et ratione vacuum]. While he kindled a fire, he filled his room with smoke but did not light it up. His tree appeared heavy with foliage to those viewing it from afar, but to those who came near and looked closely, it was found fruitless. And so when I went to this tree to gather fruit therefrom, I found that it was the fig tree which Our Lord cursed, or like the old oak to which Lucan likened Pompey saying:

"There he stood, the mere shadow

Of a great name, like an oak
Towering in a fruitful field."

Realizing this, I did not delay long in the idleness of his shadow. I went to his lectures more and more irregularly, and for this the distinguished among his students were offended with me as despising a man of such renown. . . . [T]hat old man arrogantly forbade me to continue in the place where he was teaching the work of interpretation which I had entered upon . . . .
J. T. Muckle, The Story of Abelard's Adversities (translation of Historia calamitatum) (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieaval Studies, 1964), 21-22, 24.

Abelard and his Student Heloise Surprised
by Master Fulbert by Jean Vignaud

Without doubt, Abelard's writing was tendentious. In assessing Peter Abelard's vituperation, and the objectiveness of its critique of St. Anselm, one may recall that the insufferable Abelard was thrown out of the Cathedral School of Laon by no one less than St. Anselm. In defense of St. Anselm, we do not have his side of the story. And Abelard, like Rousseau many years after him, seemed to have suffered from narcissistic, unstable, impatient, almost misanthropic personality, and was burdened with a history of considerable moral failures though unquestionably gifted with a brilliant mind. Modern scholars seem to weigh in with Abelard, but this is probably largely a matter also of tendentiousness.

Were St. Anselm and his followers the most significant impetus in the revival of theology experience in the twelfth century, the inventors of the influential systematic collection of sentences, and the progenitors of the scholastic method and miracle? Or were they rather as Peter Abelard saw them, "essentially reactionary, concerned with the reiteration, and not with the critical analysis, of biblical and patristic authority." Marcia L. Colish, Studies in Scholasticism (Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 7. Or were they, as Professor Colish suggests, something in between? Perhaps more soberly, the School of Laon was "far from stagnant, if far from systematic or architectonic in its view of theology." Colish, 11. In any event, it is true that the thought process and methodology of St. Anselm of Laon and his school, though they may have contributed to the rise of the Scholastic method, were "largely non-philosophical, biblical, and patristic" in outlook. Colish, 9-10.

Vulgate with Glosses

St. Anselm of Laon insisted on reconciling both biblical and patristic authority, so that the Church Fathers could be understood by means of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures by means of the Church Fathers. For all that, he does not disdain his contemporaries, the moderni magistri, and so, in his analyses, we see him reference St. Ivo of Chartres, William of Champeaux, and even his brother Ralph. Magnæ Sabø, ed., Hebrew Bible Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000), I/2, 248. , at 248-49. In their effort to incorporate the notion of natural law into their system of Scriptural interpretation, St. Anselm of Laon and his school developed a "characteristically theological" concept of the natural law, Crowe, 80, one that found its roots in Scripture and tradition, and not reason. The natural law, however, though revealed as existing in Scripture remained a rule of reason. Crowe's synopsis is as follows:
The natural law, the law of behaviour for humanity, is anterior to the Mosaic law (which became necessary precisely because men had neglected the law of their nature); it is the fruit of the ratio naturalis which can know God and discern the basic maxims, such as the prohibition of homicide and, in a general formula, the Golden Rule of not doing to others what you would not have done to yourself.
Crowe, 80. In our next blog entry, we shall look at the allegorical interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew in the Ennarationes in Evangelium Matthaei (162 PL 1227-1500). Though Migne assigns its authorship to St. Anselm of Laon, most scholars believe such attribution incorrect. We will also look at the Systematic Sentences of St. Anselm of Laon, though St. Anselm's authorship of these again has been questioned. Whether written by St. Anselm or not, these two texts will at least impart the flavor of the form that the School of Laon's teaching on the natural law had at the cusp of the transformation of Europe's staid, monastic and unitinerant past, where the Benedictine ruled. In St. Anselm of Laon and the School of Laon we are at the threshold of Europe's intellectual future: the universities, where scholasticism and the itinerant orders, in particular the Dominicans and Franciscans, flourished. It was as if the Western mind, disciplined by the rule of the monastery and the safety of its cloisters and fellow monks, was about to be let out freely to walk about the land with his Scriptures and his Glossa in hand, encountering in a great adventure, in the rough and tumble of academic disputation, the pagan Aristotle, the Jew Maimonedes, and the Muslim Ibn Sina. Eventually, the intellectual turmoil caused by the joinder of these various streams would be channelled and synthesized by the intellectual giant St. Thomas Aquinas. This would include the doctrine of the natural law. But we are still a long ways away from that.