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The Reformation of the church also entailed a reformation of its rites. These conduits to grace, determined by the scholastic theologian Peter Lombard in the twelfth century, consisted of seven sacraments: baptism, the Eucharist, confirmation, ordination, marriage, penance, and extreme unction. By John Wyclif’s day, these were the very essence of medieval salvation. Medieval reformers, in particular Wyclif and Jan Hus, disputed the notion of transubstantiation, but it was Protestants who achieved a more

in Lollards in the English Reformation
Benjamin Hoadly and the Eucharist

Chapter 5 The sacrament Socinianized: Benjamin Hoadly and the Eucharist T he Eucharist long exerted centripetal and centrifugal forces on Christianity, and the Church of England’s formularies captured why that was the case. The Thirty-Nine Articles declared that the sacraments were ‘ordained of Christ’ and were ‘not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather … certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will towards us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and

in Reformation without end
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Selected Latin works in translation

John Wyclif (d. 1384) was among the leading schoolmen of fourteenth-century Europe. He was an outspoken controversialist and critic of the church, and, in his last days at Oxford, the author of the greatest heresy that England had known. This volume offers translations of a representative selection of his Latin writings on theology, the church and the Christian life. It offers a comprehensive view of the life of this charismatic but irascible medieval theologian, and of the development of the most prominent dissenting mind in pre-Reformation England. This collection will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of medieval history, historical theology and religious heresy, as well as scholars in the field.

author himself.1 The question of Donne’s ecumenicalism may reasonably prompt us to search Donne’s oeuvre for statements that address the question explicitly. Such searches are quite productive. Even focusing specifically on Eucharistic theology (a particularly contentious area of early modern Christianity), one finds several strongly ecumenical statements in Donne’s sermons:2 A peremptory prejudice upon other mens opinions, that no opinion but thine can be true, in the doctrine of the Sacrament, and an uncharitable condemning of other men, or other Churches that may be

in Forms of faith

is to another place (i.e., to the New Jerusalem).   4 I refer to Gless’s 1994 monograph, Interpretation and Theology. My interpretation of the betrothal/wedding ceremony in canto xii as an allegory of the sacrament of Communion has been anticipated by John King who, in the final sentence of his Spenser Encyclopedia entry under the heading ‘Sacraments’, describes the ceremony as ‘an act that mirrors the union of Christian and Christ in the Communion service’ (624). King has not, however (in so far as I have been able to discover), expanded upon this inspired

in God’s only daughter
Confessional conflict and Elizabethan romances

rather than in (often mumbled) Latin as in the Roman Catholic Sarum mass and by administering bread and wine to the laity, too. The Roman Catholic liturgy and doctrine of transubstantiation were maintained during the early years of Reformation under Henry VIII. When Henry’s young son Edward ascended the throne, the English Reformation gained momentum. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and the leading theologian during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, gradually adopted Zwingli’s figurative understanding of the sacraments as the official Anglican position

in Forms of faith

type of rhetoric, of course, was scarcely an innovation in the late tenth and eleventh centuries, although, as will be seen, both its prevalence and vehemence was revolutionary. As any historian of the late antique and medieval Church can testify, ecclesiastical sources are full of references to concerns about ritual purity and fears of contamination from an early date. For instance, Irish texts such as the mid-sixth-century Vinnian and mid-seventh-century Cummean penitentials repeatedly display anxiety about the purity of the sacraments and those who handled them

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century

increasingly acquired the status of sacrament (Albrecht/Weber, 2002a: 2; Targoff, 2008: 158). In England, even fairly close to the beginning of the Reformation, the sermon also gained in significance: ‘The Book of Common Prayer has from its first version in 1549 prescribed a dual ministry of word and sacrament’ (Carrithers, 1972: 10) – under different monarchs, one or other of these ministries was emphasised more (McCullough, 1998: 6). As a priest of the English Church under King James I, Donne appears to have ‘favoured communication over Communion’ (Ferrell, 1992: 63), and

in John Donne’s Performances
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St Michael and All Angels, Sowton and St Mary the Virgin, Ottery St Mary

the central scene, flanked by two further scenes from the Life of Christ. Below small scenes depict Old Testament types of baptism and a New Testament baptism scene. The relevant quotation from the litany underlines the high-church emphasis on this sacrament: ‘By thy Baptism Good Lord deliver us.’ The west window, placed directly above the door, depicts three archangels with text referring to the Last Judgment. The quotations

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival
The parable of the Prodigal Son

repentance, the Gospel parable shows far simpler action than the threefold process of contrition, confession, and satisfaction typically associated with the late medieval sacrament. The son may be contrite, but the father welcomes him home before he verbally expresses wrongdoing, and the story offers no evidence of restitution for his misdeeds. Although the parable raises issues related to justice (more specifically, to the efficacy and rewards of devout action), patterns of revision in Middle English retellings suggest that the portrayal of divine mercy generated the most

in The politics of Middle English parables