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“Can Yesterday Get Better?” The Trouble With Memory And The Gift Of The Eucharist Systematic-Theological Reflections On The Presence Of The Past

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Chapter Summary

The basic idea is that historical thinking is a mental procedure in which the human past is made present or "re-presented". In order to become history, the past must be transformed, which is done by narratively establishing an inner connection between past and present. The question is how the "contemporality" stipulated by Eucharistic theology can reconciled with the insight that the celebration of the Lord's Supper is a form of cultural memory that references time and specifically the past. The claim of the Eucharistic anamnesis goes further, however, because it wants to represent a past event not just mentally but really. A closing thought and surely an enigmatic one seeks to show the Eucharist as a "revolt" against the continuum of history from a different angle. Crucial to the concept of anamnesis is that it is not a "mere" remembering of events from the past that remains without practical consequences.

Keywords: anamnesis; contemporality; eucharistic theology; Lord's Supper; memory



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