Things That Matter: The <i>Extra Calvinisticum</i>, the Eucharist, and John Calvin's Unstable Materiality

Ernst van den Hemel

in Things

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239450
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823239498 | DOI:

Series: Future of the Religious Past (FUP)

Things That Matter: The Extra Calvinisticum, the Eucharist, and John Calvin's Unstable Materiality

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Against the background of the problematic Protestant stance with regard to materiality, this chapter points out the impossibility of a religion that completely does away with matter. This is done by critiquing the widespread interpretation of Calvin's writings on the Eucharist as entailing merely a strictly symbolic and stereotypically Protestant understanding of transubstantiation. If we look closer and more critically, it is argued, we find that Calvin understood divine presence as being simultaneously immanent and transcendent, and he thus avoided both the dangers of a veneration of matter and a strictly metaphorical interpretation of Christ's presence.

Keywords: Protestantism; Matter; Calvin; Eucharist; Transubstantiation

Chapter.  6492 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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