Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture / Edition 1

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This book studies later medieval culture (c. 1150-1500) through its central symbol: the eucharist. From the twelfth century onward the eucharist was designed by the Church as the foremost sacrament. The claim that this ritual brought into presence Christ's own body, and offered it to believers, underpinned the sacramental system and the clerical meditation upon which it depended. The book explores the context in which the sacramental world was created and the cultural processes through which it was disseminated, interpreted and used. With attention to the variety of eucharistic meanings and practices, the book moves from the "design" of the eucharist in the twelfth century to its redesign in the sixteenth—a story of the emergence of a symbol, its use and interpretation and final transformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the book provides an exceptionally rich body of material and a spirited statement of a point of view important not just for eucharistic but for religious history generally." The Journal of Religion

"Rubin's is a brilliant attempt to grasp the language of medieval religion that gave meaning to, as well as received meaning from, the culture around it...My brief summary cannot hope to convey the richness of material and interpretation contained in this volume." History

"From time to time one comes across a book like this that has long needed to be written. Rubin...has filled an important gap in the study of the Eucharist. What makes the book so significant is her treatment of the Eucharist in its social, political, economic, and cultural context...the most significant treatment of this subject in the last fifty years." Theological Studies

"...a major and valuable contribution to the field." Sixteenth Century Journal

"...a work of such originality, learning and imagination." Times Literary Supplement

"Waste your time reading fiction, if you want, or dull history. If you want liveliness, pick up this history of eucharistic practice....This is a rich history, enhanced with black-and-white illustrations." Christian Century

"Miri Rubin (lecturer in Medieval History at Oxford) has written a penetrating analysis of the relation between religion and society in the West between 1000 to 1500....Rubin has written a 'tour de force' that is a must for any serious student of the High Middle Ages. This student came away immensely instructed, impressed with the vademecum reference quality of her study of the eucharist — and with several questions....splendid and insightful study." Thomas Finn, Critical Review

"...the reader will likely find the text rewarding, thought-provoking, and worth the trouble." Keith Killinger, Currents in Theology and Mission

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521438056
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 452
  • Sales rank: 1,268,643
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Designing the eucharist: new ideas and procedures in the mass from c. 1000; 2. Beyond design: teaching and reception of the eucharist; 3. A feast is born: Corpus Christi - the eucharistic feast; 4. The living feast: sermons, fraternities, processions and drama; 5. Symbols in motion: the many readings of the eucharist; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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