This book studies later medieval culture [c. 1150-1500] through its central symbol: the eucharist. From the twelfth century onwards 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 mediation 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 - in procession on the feast of Corpus Christi, devotions, prayers, drama, in dissent, abuse and doubt - the author reveals and considers ways in which a religious culture is used as a language for the articulation of order and power, as well as for the most private explorations. The book moves from the 'design' of the eucharist in the twelfth century to its re-design in the sixteenth - a story of the emergence of a symbol, its use and interpretation and final transformation.
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(228mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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