Despite being located in France, medieval Normandy was a Viking territory. The word Normandy is related to the word “northman,” which how the French referred to the Vikings. The Vikings made several incursions into what was French territory. At one point, they came all the way down the Seine River and attacked Paris. To pacify the invaders and to prevent invasions from other neighboring kingdoms, the French king gave the Viking ruler a grant of land which would eventually become Normandy. 
Anselm was born in Italy in 1060, but joined a monastery in Normandy because of the fame of its abbot, Lanfranc  . Six years later, William of Normandy would conquer the British Isles and appoint both civil and ecclesiastical officials, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. For his first appointee to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, he chose Lanfranc, abbot of Anselm’s monastery. Upon his death, Anselm ascended to the Archbishop position. William’s control of the church at its founding would cause lasting power struggles between church and state, leading eventually to Thomas a Beckett’s murder in the cathedral at Canterbury  .
At the time, the papacy was under a program of reform. Church offices were being sold, papal relatives held high church offices, absenteeism was a huge problem in the church, and monasteries used their skills to hoard wealth instead of using it for ministry. The problem of simony was particularly painful. The church was one of the few remaining institutions with upward social mobility. Supposedly, it was there to represent the poor and lowly. By selling church offices, not only does the church become the tool of the rich, but it closes off one of the last avenues for a person to rise above his born station.
Urban II, who held office from 1088-1099, was elected by the party supporting papal reform  . In Germany, he encouraged the rebellion of Conrad, who promised to give up any claim to the right of appointment and investiture of bishops. Urban II is best known, however, for proclaiming the First Crusade, which he called in 1095  , two years after Anselm was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by William of Normandy  .
Anselm himself was the first scholastic. He was very interested in reason and its power to understand God. While he worked as a monk, and during his periods of exile from Canterbury, he spent his time writing on theological issues. His goal was not to attempt to prove that God existed; he already believed in God. Instead, he sought to use reason alone to pursue knowledge of the Divine. To achieve this goal, he invented a new kind of argument that came to be known as the “ontological argument for the existence of God,” which tries to prove God’s existence using logic alone  .
Anselm’s scholasticism influenced later theologians, including John Wesley, whose method for interpreting the Bible is one of the cornerstones of Methodism. Anselm used reason and praised it as being God-given. Through this philosophy and people influenced by it, an entire branch of theology was formed.
 Helmerichs, Robert. The Rollonid Principality. ORB, 1995. Web. 9 December 2010.
 Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. Vol. 1. New York, NY: HarperOne, 1984. Print.
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 Coakley, John W, and Sterk, Andrea. Readings in World Christian History. Vol. 1. Maryknoll, NY: 2009. Print. Page 339.
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