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The Eucharist in Medieval Canon Law


  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107124417

£ 70.99

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About the Authors
  • Thomas Izbicki presents a new examination of the relationship between the adoration of the sacrament and canon law from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries. The medieval Church believed Christ's glorified body was present in the Eucharist, the most central of the seven sacraments, and the Real Presence became explained as transubstantiation by university-trained theologians. Expressions of this belief included the drama of the elevated host and chalice, as well as processions with a host in an elaborate monstrance on the Feast of Corpus Christi. These affirmations of doctrine were governed by canon law, promulgated by popes and councils; and liturgical regulations were enforced by popes, bishops, archdeacons and inquisitors. Drawing on canon law collections and commentaries, synodal enactments, legal manuals and books about ecclesiastical offices, Izbicki presents the first systematic analysis of the Church's teaching about the regulation of the practice of the Eucharist.

    • Links the doctrine of the real presence of Christ to discipline and how it impacted local practice
    • Looks at the larger picture by presenting European-wide examples of local law and practice, from Germany, Cyprus, Moravia, Castile, and other places
    • Offers a systematic review of the sources, such as canon law collections and commentaries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The influence, construction, and use of medieval canon law is richly illuminated through such a focused study.' Kriston R. Rennie, Renaissance Quarterly

    'Izbicki begins with an indispensible guide to the canon lawyers themselves. The reader will find herself drawn back to this useful reference often as she gets lost among the thicket of references necessary to the field. … The material that Izbicki brings to light in this book offers a host of valuable information on the everyday devotional life of medieval Christians as they celebrated the central ritual of their religion. Any scholar of the great medieval drama will find this book an invaluable source for uncovering the rich religious life of a millennium of western civilisation.' Gary Macy, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107124417
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the sacraments in medieval canon law
    1. The real presence of Christ, the minister and the materials of the sacrament
    2. The form of the sacrament and the elevation of the host
    3. Communion: union with Christ and unity in the sacrament
    4. Custody of the Eucharist and communion of the sick
    5. Corpus Christi and wonder hosts

  • Author

    Thomas M. Izbicki, Rutgers University, New Jersey
    Thomas Izbicki received a doctorate in medieval history at Cornell University (1973). He became an academic librarian in 1986. While serving as a librarian at Wichita State University, Johns Hopkins University and Rutgers University, he pursued research on the medieval Church, including canon law. His publications focus on Pius II, Juan de Torquemada OP, Nicholas of Cusa and the sacraments in canon law. Dr Izbicki's most recent book is Religion, Power, and Resistance from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries: Playing the Heresy Card, edited with Karen Bollermann and Cary J. Niederman (2014).

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