Resacralizing the media of grace

Book chapter


Ocker, Christopher 2020. Resacralizing the media of grace. in: C. Ocker and S. Elm (ed.) Material Christianity: Western Religion and the Agency of Things Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp. 69 - 101
AuthorsOcker, Christopher
EditorsC. Ocker and S. Elm
Abstract

Scholars in the Social Sciences and Humanities often see the Reformation as a step in a long-term process of European secularization, even today, after many specialists have challenged the idea. Among the factors that seem to confirm the place of the Reformation in secularization narratives is the fact that Protestants criticized the idea of the “real presence” of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist, moving, it is often thought, from external ritual and the materiality of medieval sacramental ideas and practices toward a more symbolic or metaphorical interpretation of religious thought and practice. This chapter reviews the place of sacramental debate in secularization narratives, and it reexamines the history of Eucharistic ideas in the Reformation. I argue that most early Protestants were debating the physical conditions in and by which divine action occurred, rather than moving away from physical or metaphysical views of religious doctrine or experience. Integral to their approach were three factors: the political challenges that emerging Protestant communities faced in real time, a quasi-physical concept of spirit, and a belief that spirit affected individuals and communities simultaneously.

Page range69 - 101
Year2020
Book titleMaterial Christianity: Western Religion and the Agency of Things
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Place of publicationSwitzerland
SeriesSophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures; Volume 32
ISBN9783030320188
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32018-8_3
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8q52q/resacralizing-the-media-of-grace

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