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Anselm Introduces the Incarnation and Redemption

In Cur Deus Homo, Anselm begins his argumentation not with biblical theology or hard logic per se, but rather with an exquisite foretaste of both in a masterful turning-of-the-tables on those who want to argue that Christianity, specifically in the doctrine of the incarnation, makes no sense:
"As death came upon the human race by the disobedience of man, it was fitting that by man’s obedience life should be restored. And, as sin, the cause of our condemnation, had its origin from a woman, so ought the author of our righteousness and salvation to be born of a woman. And so also was it proper that the devil, who, being man’s tempter, had conquered him in eating of the tree, should be vanquished by man in the suffering of the tree which man bore."

Today in Language: Victor Hugo

The year 1802 should not have been auspicious for French society, what with the ominous cloud of imperialism and the uncertain legacy of the Revolution hanging in the air. But Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802. One of the most versatile and profound French writers of the 19th century, Hugo was at his best (not without contradiction and tension) expressing either urgent warnings about the dangers and immorality of French conservatism or intimate reflections on God and nature. The latter can be seen in the following stanza from his poem « A Villequier » upon the accidental death by drowning of his newlywed daughter.


Je viens à vous, Seigneur, père auquel il faut croire ; Je vous parte, apaisé, Les morceaux de ce coeur tout plein de votre gloire Que vous avez brisé !