Chapter

Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489–1561)

David C. Steinmetz

in Reformers in the Wings

Second edition

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195130485
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869008 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195130480.003.0018
 Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489–1561)

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Caspar Schwenckfeld was a Silesian nobleman and retired diplomat, who spent most of his adult life in exile as a religious refugee. Schwenckfeld rejected the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed doctrines of the Eucharist, believing that Christ was spiritually present to believers apart from the elements of bread and wine. His views rested in part on a Christology, which taught that Christ brought with him from heaven an “uncreaturely” body that was implanted in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This “celestial flesh” was increasingly divinized throughout Christ's life. It could therefore be present to believers through faith before, during, or after the rite of eucharistic celebration and bore no necessary relationship to it.

Keywords: celestial flesh; Christology; Eucharist; Schwenckfeld; uncreaturely; Virgin Mary

Chapter.  3264 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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