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Cur Deus Homo: "Why God Became Man" [Kindle Edition]

St. Anselm of Canterbury
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"How great a thing it is, also, for God and man to unite in one person, that, while the perfection of each nature is preserved, the same being may be both God and man! Who, then, will dare to think that the human mind can discover how wisely, how wonderfully, so incomprehensible a work has been accomplished?"

Cur Deus Homo, translated "Why God-Man?", refers to the question of the nature of Christ's incarnation. In this fictional philosophical dialog between Anselm and Boso, a monk in Normandy, this question is handled masterfully and is arguably the first complete exposition of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

This electronic edition features an active table of contents.

Cur Deus Homo is part of The Fig Classic Series on Medieval Theology. To view more books in our catalog, visit us at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 179 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Fig; 1 edition (1 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006USDYQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #507,879 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An apologetic for an understanding of Christ's accomplishment in His death and resurrection which stems from the middle Ages and which is still influential today. It is a volume which should be on every Christian preacher's shelf, but it should be read with a sharp mind ready to discern and to articulate the patterns of thought, the unconscious assumptions, and the theological irrelevancies which mark this text. Such a reading will sharpen the preacher's understanding and the questions which he himself wishes to put to the NT test itself. The value of the book is twofold : it will sharpen the preachers acuity as he prepares his sermon in the study, and it will remain in his mind - if it has been read well - as sometimes a warning, and at others as an encouragement in preaching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Old ones are the best! 10 May 2013
By Tigger
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thought this would be a difficult read as it is one of the main texts for studying Christology and is very old. Very surprised at how easy it was to read as it gives Anselm's ideas on Christology as a conversation between himself and a student called Boso. It tries to answer the big questions in the form of apologetic writing which is where most students of Christology will come from. Great for those studying theology or those who are simply confused by the many theories about who Christ was as God-Man and part of the trinity. Just remember that there are other theories e.g. Anselm's book 'About the incarnation' which is so cheap as a Kindle version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic intro 11 Feb. 2013
By D. Cook
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good if you really must know about mediaeval philosophy!
It is a classic of its kind but hardly a best-seller
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did God become a man? 21 Feb. 2008
By James Huffman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The scandal of Christianity is that God -- the Almighty God who created all that is seen and unseen -- became a man. Specifically, He became a male Palestinian who lived from around 4 B.C. to around 29-30 A.D. A man who was born of a woman, who was hungry, thirsty, sleepy, tired -- everything that we do -- but without sin.

And that man who at the same time God suffered for us under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.

All of this is affirmed by orthodox Christians. The question that has been asked -- and which this book seeks to answer -- is not, "Did this all happen?," but "Why did God become man?" St. Anselm's discussion is the classic discussion of western theories of the Atonement.

A little baffling is the paucity of scripture in this book, but St. Anselm is trying to answer the question by use of reason, in the form of a dialog.

This particular translation was completed in 1903 and this is a reprint of that translation which has been out of print for some time. It's a good re-print, easy to read (the book is surprisingly short for as influential as it has been) and well-bound. The publisher has done good for all Christians by providing this printing of this book. While not simple reading, this book is not difficult for educated Christians -- lay or clergy -- to read and ponder.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attempting to Unravel the Mystery Behind the Mystery 16 May 2011
By Joseph L. Louthan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anselm's Cur Deus Homo or Why Did God Become Man? is an excellent, deep theological work that attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Incarnation of God in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. I gave this book only four out of five stars only because half of the book was letters back and forth between Anselm and people in the church and the monastery and it felt like filler to me. Despite the filler, the first 100 pages are well worth the price of the book and I recommend it to anyone who is not only interested in the "God became flesh and dwelt among us" but exploring the deep theological and philosophical aspects on the supposed free will of man versus the true and absolute free will of God.

The format is quite unique in that this is the first theological book I have read that is a discussion between two men. In this, we have Boso, a compatriot of the author's, who serves as the one inquiring about the Incarnation from a layperson's view and the unregenerate's view. And then we have Anselm, who seems to provide the answers but even more so, sharpens iron with Boso and sharpens iron with the reader.

I was pleased and fortunately to read this book after finishing Athanasius' On the Incarnation of the Word (which was a double joy to read around Christmas) and I felt like Athanasius' work serves as great, worshipful setup to this book. Athanasius lobs the pitch up and Anselm swings for the fences. If I could give the highest recommendation, it would to read On The Incarnation followed by Cur Deus Homo.

After reading, praying, processing and meditating, I would summed up the entire book in this:

In man's sinful nature, man lacks the power, ability and free will to fully live for God. However, in His divine nature, God has the power, ability and the free will to die for man so that man might fully live for God.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great value and a great book 18 Oct. 2011
By Bert C. Mccollum - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can only add my approval to the compliments already given in the first two reviews. This is one of the great classics on the Christian west, and should be read by all Christians who are interested in attaining a greater knowledge and understanding of their faith. This translation is clear and elegant. There is an active table of contents. The price for such a treasure is a mere pittance. Please don't pass this one up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harmony Restored. 31 Oct. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
In his most famous of all books, Why God Became Man, Anselm is answering the question given certain presuppositions. These include the great offence against God by mankind’s sin. Here it is significant to remember that the magnitude of the offence is not measured by the nature of the sin but by the nature of the One sinned against. Thus Anselm argues that the debt mankind owes to God for failing to give Him his due, is something that only God Himself can rectify.

God is only satisfied, hence Anselm’s theory of the Atonement, by One who is more than the sum of humanity (which could never suffice to restore God’s honor), and the One who is so “chosen” to restore the honor must by necessity command humanity’s allegiance: “The One who frees humanity from their predicament demands their obedience.” And secondly, “in order for an individual to offer an acceptable satisfaction he must be ‘all that God is not.’ ”

In Jesus Christ, the God-Man, the harmony is restored to the universe that was disrupted by Sin. Our faith and devotion in obedience to the One who sets us free is till being offered to God alone, as it is God who frees us.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent 2 Jan. 2013
By Richard Carnahan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Aside from some formatting issues, this is an excellent version. Well worth getting and having in a theological library. Bravo!
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