Greetings again, pneuma07
I see that I am falling further behind.
I don’t think the difference has to be that radically worded. There are a number of ways in which the bread is viewed as the body of Christ. Symbolically, Spiritually, Mystically, Consubstantively, and Transubstantively all come to mind. A fellow such as Augustine may view the spiritual reality as more important than the physical reality (IIRC that was his position) and would, therefore, not say,” This is NOT really the body of Christ" because of the primary importance placed on the spiritual (as in it is spiritually the body of Christ)
Have we a general picture of the Church of that time obliging us to imagine this dramatic semantic change of the formulation through the following centuries ? When and how did this semantic, theological, ecclesial earthquake take place in the post-V century Church ?
Being RC, you view the matter from that perspective. Being non-RC, I ask, “When did the Children of God changed from the view that eating human flesh was absolutely wrong to the view that eating human flesh in a certain manner was acceptable?” I would give the same answer to both questions. Sometime between 100 AD and the detailing of transubstantiation, the pious read more and more into the words of our Lord and arrived at a literal interpretation of “This is my body” which flies in the face of what the participant is actually able to observe with his senses.
What evidence do we have about that ?
the evidence can only be found in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and of the early church spanning the time period in question.
Fathers.Can we find any age in Church History when the doctrine of Real Presence was a challenger rather than being challenged ?
It all depends on how one interprets the Fathers that I just mentioned. That of course could be a bunch of separate threads
- The Catholic Church maintains that Augustine gave an exceptional contribution to the understanding of the Sacrament of Eucharist, and of its “inexhaustible richness”.
I believe the Reformed also see their understanding of the Eucharist (spiritual presence) clearly set forward by Augustine.
Note that the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist is affirmed by Augustine as clearly as by the Church. Do you reject the sacrificial nature ?
depends on what you mean by “sacrifice”. In City of God Augustine states: “A true sacrifice is anything that we do with the aim of being united to God in holy fellowship – anything that is directed towards that supreme good and end in which alone we can be truly blessed.”
Or do you imagine it without Real Presence ?
Using Augustine’s broad definition of sacrifice, one most certainly does not require a real bodily presence for the Eucharist to be viewed as a sacrifice.
You say: “Augustine is not saying that Jesus’s body is really on the Lord’s table and that the participant eats Jesus’s body any more than he is saying that the believers (who he is addressing) are really on the Lord’s table and that they are eating themselves.” You appear to propose this as a reductio ad absurdum, so that everyone may understand that Augustine would teach that we do not eat the Lord’s Flesh in the Eucharist.
Actually, what I was attempting to do was to show that unless one is prepared to say that the believers are also really present on the Lord’s table then one should acknowledge that Augustine is speaking figuratively in Sermon 272 and should not quote a sentence (out of context from the start of the sermon) as if it proves that Augustine held to a real bodily presence. I would further say that even if one is prepared to say that the believers are also really present on the Lord’s table then one should still see that Augustine is speaking figuratively because of what he stated in OCD (this would also apply to your quote from sermon 132)