[Milton-L] Luther & the Eucharist

Richard A. Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sat Apr 5 15:57:07 EDT 2014

I think Luther would have said that they were good choices -- sanctifying the ordinary; showing God's benevolence toward the common and biological -- but not inevitable ones, and -- to the point -- not because of any special ontological status that they have or, of course, come to have in the ceremony.  One of his most startling assertions -- repeated again and again in the anti-spiritualist pamphlets of the late 20's -- is that the Real Presence is everywhere (Jesus is bodily at "the right hand of God"; the right hand of God is a metaphor for the power of God; the power of God is everywhere; therefore ...).  He did not shrink from this conclusion, but reveled in it.
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Michael Gillum [mgillum at unca.edu]
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2014 2:43 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Luther & the Eucharist


It was interesting to learn that Luther thought the vehicles of the Eucharist were arbitrarily chosen. Through habituation, the bread and wine probably seem like naturally unified signs to those of us who have been exposed to Christianity.

I think most of us already agreed with you about the arbitrariness of the Tree of Knowledge being singled out for prohibition. To serve its purpose, the prohibition needs to be inaccessible to reason, except as reason dictates obedience to God. God's decree makes the fruit mean something (obedience) apart from what it inherently is (delicious food).  The tricky name (knowledge) emphasizes how arbitrary a sign the tree is. In the temptation, Eve gets caught up in speculation about what the fruit is and does.

On Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 2:47 PM, Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu<mailto:rastrier at uchicago.edu>> wrote:
I must say I'm surprised that no one on the list (so far) has picked up on the rather amazing things that I alluded to with regard to the above.


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