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date: 16 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The Eucharist dominated late medieval discussions of the sacraments and persistently tested the boundaries of heresy and orthodoxy throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It is precisely because this sacrament offered the faithful the most intimate contact with their Savior—through the reception of his very own body and blood—that accounts of his presence, and access to it, could be especially contentious. Debates that began in the universities soon spilled over the walls with the result that simple priests and lay people were now contending with bishops over transubstantiation and demanding that all baptized Christians be permitted access to the chalice at the Mass. Like so many matters of Catholic doctrine and practice in the Late Middle Ages, the sacrament of the Eucharist was constantly evolving and therefore resisted both simple explanations and enforced norms.

Keywords: Eucharist, transubstantiation, consubstantiation, Real Presence, miracle hosts, utraquism, Council of Constance, Wilsnack, Wycliffites, William Woodford, Thomas Netter, Nicholas of Cusa

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