A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation


By the end of the fifteenth century, the Eucharist had come to encompass theology, liturgy, art, architecture, and music. In the sixteenth century, each of these dimensions was questioned, challenged, rethought, as western European Christians divided over their central act of worship. This volume offers an introduction to early modern thinking on the Eucharist—as theology, as Christology, as a moment of human and divine communion, as that which the faithful do, as taking place, and as visible and audible. The scholars gathered in this volume speak from a range of disciplines—liturgics, history, history of art, history of theology, philosophy, musicology, and literary theory. The volume thus also brings different methods and approaches, as well as confessional orientations to a consideration of the Eucharist in the Reformation. Contributors include: Gary Macy, Volker Leppin, Carrie Euler, Nicholas Thompson, Nicholas Wolterstorff, John D. Rempel, James F. Turrell, Robert J. Daly, Isabelle Brian, Thomas Schattauer, Raymond A. Mentzer, Michele Zelinsky Hanson, Jaime Lara, Andrew Spicer, Achim Timmermann, Birgit Ulrike Münch, Andreas Gormans, Alexander J. Fisher, Regina M. Schwartz, and Christopher Wild.
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Biographical Note

Lee Palmer Wandel, Ph.D. (1985) in History, University of Michigan, is Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin. Her most recent book is The Reformation: Towards a New History, (Cambridge, 2011).

Review Quote

“Wandel’s volume is a valuable contribution to the corpus of knowledge concerning the development of the Eucharist in the Reformation. She brings together a collection of essays which enable scholarly access and accessible scholarship to a variety of topics pertinent to the study of the Eucharist in the Reformation.” Adrian Burdon, Methodist Church in Britain. In: Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2014), pp. 419-422. “This volume is well organized and offers a solid introduction to the theology and practice of the Eucharist in the early modern period. It will be of use to students and scholars of the sixteenth-century Reformation.” John T. Slotemaker, Fairfield University. In: Religious Studies Review, Vol. 41, No. 2 (June 2015), p. 87. “This volume provides an introduction to competing understandings of the Eucharist and the consequences for liturgical practice and the arts extending into the eighteenth century. It is self-consciously interdisciplinary, with contributions by theologians, historians, art historians, musicologists, and literary scholars. The volume invites comparison among the Christian traditions, with articles devoted not only to the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed churches, but also to Anglicans and Anabaptists. … the essays here … stimulate readers to think beyond traditional approaches to the study of the Eucharist in the Reformation.” Amy Nelson Burnett, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Fall 2014), pp. 1032-1033. “This splendid volume does not try to construct a “single history” but “seeks to render something of the protean heterogeneity of early modern thinking – in texts written and sung, images, objects, architecture, music, and practices – on the Eucharist”. It well succeeds!” Donald K. McKim, Germantown, Tennessee. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 46, No. 1 (2015), pp. 157-159. “A panoramic, yet precise, view of how the doctrines and experiences of the Eucharist changed during the Reformation. […] This volume presents the reader with the latest findings of scholarship on the standard personalities and traditions involved in the Reformation, but also extends the discussion to include several areas of research that have historically not received much attention. [...] Together with the essays on aesthetics, music, and architecture, the book ultimately gives us a more “human” perspective on the Eucharist in the Reformation, and should be a welcome addition to any university or seminary library.” Gregory Soderberg, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. In: Journal of Reformed Theology, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2015), pp. 209-210. “Den Anspruch auf Unverzichtbarkeit für eine ernsthafte Beschäftigung mit der Theologie der Reformationszeit und ihren gesellschaftlichen Folgen sowie auf Nützlichkeit im ökumenischen Dialog darf das Buch ohne weiteres erheben.” Bernward Schmidt, Institut für Katholische Theologie, RWTH Aachen. In: H-Soz-Kult, 03.03.2016. “Ce volume de la prestigieuse collection, qui compte aujourd’hui près de soixante volumes, offre un bon instrument de travail pour se repérer dans la diversité des compréhensions de l’eucharistie au temps des Réformes.” Michel Mallèvre, ISTINA, LX (2015), p. 144.

Table of contents

List of Figures, List of Contributors, and List of Key Names Introduction Lee Palmer Wandel PART ONE: THEOLOGY The Medieval Inheritance Gary Macy Martin Luther Volker Leppin Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger Carrie Euler Martin Bucer Nicholas Thompson John Calvin Nicholas Wolterstorff Anabaptist Theologies of the Eucharist John D. Rempel Anglican Theologies of the Eucharist James F. Turrell The Council of Trent Robert J. Daly, S.J. PART TWO: LITURGICAL PRACTICES Catholic Isabelle Brian Lutheran Thomas Schattauer Reformed Raymond A. Mentzer Anabaptist Michele Zelinsky Hanson Anglican James F. Turrell The Spanish New World Jaime Lara PART THREE: SITES OF THE EUCHARIST Sites of the Eucharist Andrew Spicer PART FOUR: THE ART OF THE LITURGY A View of the Eucharist on the Eve of the Reformation Achim Timmermann Lutheran Birgit Ulrike Münch Reformed Andreas Gormans PART FIVE: THE EUCHARIST AND SOUND The Sounds of Eucharistic Culture Alexander J. Fisher PART SIX: THE IMPORT OF THE EUCHARIST Sacramental Poetics Regina M. Schwartz Enlightenment Aesthetics and the Eucharistic Sign: Lessing’s Laocoön Christopher Wild Bibliography Index


All those interested in the history of Christianity, the liturgies of Western Christianity, the Reformation, theology and the arts.