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Martin Bucer

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Chapter Summary

Martin Bucer almost inevitably features in the dramatis personae of Reformation debates on the Eucharist. His role in the Eucharistic Controversy of 1524-1536 and the attempt to mend this breach in the Wittenberg Concord has received extensive scholarly coverage. Bucer's earliest writing on the Eucharist concentrated on defending Evangelical doctrine against Catholic censure, and largely echoed themes found in Luther's eucharistic works of 1519 and 1523. If the people are to understand Bucer's eucharistic theology properly, they have to remember that he worked and wrote as confessional boundaries were beginning to harden. As he did not take a permanent schism for granted, he was ready to engage in verbal and theological experiments that seemed tendentious, and even dishonest, to later generations of confessionalized Protestants. However, if his eucharistic thought is understood in its historical context and in close connection with his broad ecclesiology, it will have its own integrity.

Keywords: Christian faith; ecclesiology; Eucharistic Controversy; eucharistic theology; Luther; Martin Bucer



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