Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

The Connection between Election and Procreation

A few days ago, I noted the connection Anselm of Canterbury makes between election and the transformation of the world–that is, the world will not be transformed and perfected (his word) until the number of the elect is complete. Later in the same chapter of Cur Deus Homo (1.18) he makes a similar connection between election and procreation:

Therefore, it seems to me , we can say that God has appointed the bounds of people according to the number of elect men; for in our world there will continue to be people and human procreation until the number of elect men is completed; and once this number is completed, the human reproduction which occurs in the present life will cease. (Cur Deus Homo 1.18, translated by Jasper Hopkins and Herbert Richardson)

One wonders whether this is connected in his mind to Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:30: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.