Chapter

The Eucharist

J. Patrick Hornbeck II

in What is a Lollard?

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589043
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589043.003.0003

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Eucharist

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Whereas many lollards never questioned a works‐oriented approach to the doctrine of salvation, dissenting views on the Eucharist reveal more substantial divergences from orthodoxy. The Mass was at the heart of late medieval religious practice, and it was Wyclif's decision to reject the doctrine of transubstantiation that led in 1381 to his exile from Oxford. Scholars have long known that Wyclif believed that Christ is spiritually present in the consecrated elements, and it has been held that, in the hands of later dissenters, his theology of remanence slowly evolved into a figurative interpretation of the sacrament. Instead, Wycliffite tracts and court records reveal that figurative and remanence theologies were both current in the early fifteenth century, and the patterns of their dissemination reveal the roles that family and civic ties played in the formation of heterodox beliefs. Figurative theologies of the Eucharist were especially prevalent among the communities of Coventry and Lichfield, Salisbury, and Winchester dioceses, and it was in these regions of England that texts articulating such views circulated most widely.

Keywords: Lollard; Wyclif; eucharist; remanence; commemoration; Wycket; trials

Chapter.  16711 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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