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28 - The Eucharist

from Part IV - The Religious Question

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2019

R. Ward Holder
Affiliation:
Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire
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Summary

There was no more divisive theological issue in the sixteenth century than the Eucharist, the ritual understood by Christians as establishing their unity with Christ and with each other. The rite separated Catholics from Protestants, Lutherans from Reformed, and state-supported reformers from a variety of dissenting groups. Modern preoccupation with the question of Christ’s “real presence,” a term that only became common in the nineteenth century, has led to both a misconception of the sixteenth-century debate and an artificial narrowing of its scope. Disagreements were much broader than Christ’s presence and included not only the definition, purpose, and content of the sacrament but also when, where, how, how often, and with whom it should be celebrated. John Calvin’s discussions of the Eucharist reflected these many disagreements, and they must be read with an understanding of the audience he addressed and the particular issues that audience considered central.

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John Calvin in Context , pp. 240 - 248
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Burnett, Amy Nelson. Debating the Sacraments: Print and Authority in the Early Reformation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campi, Emidio, and Reich, Ruedi, eds. Consensus Tigurinus (1549): Die Einigung zwischen Heinrich Bullinger und Johannes Calvin über das Abendmahl. Werden – Wertung – Bedeutung. Zurich: TVZ, 2009.Google Scholar
Davis, Thomas J. The Clearest Promises of God: The Development of Calvin’s Eucharistic Teaching. New York: AMS Press, 1995.Google Scholar
Janse, Wim. “Calvin’s Eucharistic Theology: Three Dogma-Historical Observations.” In Calvinus sacrarum literarum interpres: Papers of the International Congress on Calvin Research, ed. Selderhuis, Herman J.. Reformed Historical Theology 5. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, 3769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jensen, Gordon A. The Wittenberg Concord: Creating Space for Dialogue. Lutheran Quarterly Books. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wandel, Lee Palmer, ed. A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation. Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 46. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.Google Scholar

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