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Chapter Summary

This is an introductory chapter of this book, which calls "Evangelicals" as those who accorded that one codex definitive authority over all forms of what they tended to call "human authority" pope, bishops, emperor, kings, or magistrates, and extending to Church Fathers as authoritative as Augustine remained. That name distinguishes them from both medieval Christians and early modern Catholics, those who, in the sixteenth century, continued to recognize the authority of the papal and sacerdotal hierarchy centered in Rome and "tradition", as the Council of Trent was to invoke as the hermeneutic for Scripture. Sixteenth-century Evangelicals took apart the medieval liturgy, not simply part from part, but words from actions, human celebrant from divine agency. In rejecting the identification, through the office of the priesthood, of the celebrant and Christ, they severed the living celebrant from one way of understanding Christ's "presence" in the Eucharist.

Keywords: early modern Catholics; Eucharist; human authority; medieval Christians; Sixteenth-century Evangelicals



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