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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Luther’s understanding of the Lord’s Supper was shaped and sharpened by the challenges he faced, first from Roman Catholic, and then reform-minded theologians. Much of the scholarship in the last century has focused on what Luther meant by ‘real presence’: both in relationship to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, and to the ‘spiritual presence’ held by Karlstadt, Zwingli, Oecolampadius, and others. In response, Luther explored the sacramental presence in terms of sacramental union, while constantly pointing to Christ’s words, ‘This is my body’. Following the impasse at Marburg, Luther’s discussions with Bucer put into place the final pieces of his theology of the Lord’s Supper, leading to the Wittenberg Concord of 1536.

Keywords: Lord’s Supper, real presence, transubstantiation, Oecolampadius, Zwingli, Karlstadt, Bucer, sacramental union, Wittenberg Concord

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