Event Title

Take and Eat: How the Reformation Missed the Mark When It Took Aim at the Eucharist

Mentor 1

Lane Sunwall

Start Date

28-4-2023 12:00 AM

Description

Protestant reformers like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin had a number of disagreements with the Catholic church and one another regarding theology, but none of them caused as much division as their disparate stances regarding the nature and practice of the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. Whatever constructive change they initiated in other areas, in this, potentially the most intimate of them all, they failed not only to accomplish lasting reformation, they condemned their movement to fraction and spiritual weakness. In researching this topic, I used both primary and secondary historical, theological, and practical sources to track differing Catholic and Protestant beliefs regarding the Eucharist, including transcripts from landmark events like the Marburg Colloquy and the Council of Trent as well as more modern sources like the current catechisms of the Catholic church and various Protestant denominations. I then connected the way those theological stands lived out in everyday practice for the laity in the 1500’s with how they are practiced today using both scholarly secondary sources and primary accounts of daily life. This paper intends to show that the reformers’ inability to agree on the Eucharist poked the Catholic church into reforming just enough to bring more availability and meaning to Eucharistic practice while the Protestant Eucharistic teaching remained, and remains, disoriented by fractured doctrine and random implementation. In this, the reformers managed to accomplish just the opposite of what they intended.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Take and Eat: How the Reformation Missed the Mark When It Took Aim at the Eucharist

Protestant reformers like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin had a number of disagreements with the Catholic church and one another regarding theology, but none of them caused as much division as their disparate stances regarding the nature and practice of the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. Whatever constructive change they initiated in other areas, in this, potentially the most intimate of them all, they failed not only to accomplish lasting reformation, they condemned their movement to fraction and spiritual weakness. In researching this topic, I used both primary and secondary historical, theological, and practical sources to track differing Catholic and Protestant beliefs regarding the Eucharist, including transcripts from landmark events like the Marburg Colloquy and the Council of Trent as well as more modern sources like the current catechisms of the Catholic church and various Protestant denominations. I then connected the way those theological stands lived out in everyday practice for the laity in the 1500’s with how they are practiced today using both scholarly secondary sources and primary accounts of daily life. This paper intends to show that the reformers’ inability to agree on the Eucharist poked the Catholic church into reforming just enough to bring more availability and meaning to Eucharistic practice while the Protestant Eucharistic teaching remained, and remains, disoriented by fractured doctrine and random implementation. In this, the reformers managed to accomplish just the opposite of what they intended.