Eucharistic Eating and Drinking

Marilyn McCord Adams

in Some Later Medieval Theories of the Eucharist

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199591053
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595554 | DOI:
Eucharistic Eating and Drinking

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Real presence plus eucharistic eating threatens to expose the Body of Christ to tearing and chewing, digestion and excretion. This chapter first examines how two medieval theories evade this consequence: impanation — the Body of Christ assumes the bread substance the way the Divine Word assumes human nature — which would confine literal eating and digestion to the bread-body of Christ; and several forms of transubstantiation, which allow the bread-accidents to be eaten and digested but put Christ's Body on the altar unextended and so not causally interactive there. Eating can be dishonoring to Christ, even if no injury is possible. The chapter then reviews ways in which requirements for self-examination and fasting as well as regulations about priestly reception and distribution to known sinners, were meant to protect Christ's honor.

Keywords: Body of Christ; impanation; transubstantiation; bread-accidents; fasting

Chapter.  7288 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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