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The Lutheran Tradition

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Chapter Summary

Lutheran visualizations of the Eucharist are closely connected to typology and its late medieval tradition, since some of the most popular and widespread scenes, such as Abraham before Melchizedek or the prophet Elijah and the angel, are types for the anti-type of the Last Supper, the biblical source for the Eucharist. Modern scholars have assumed that typologically or antithetically structured works of art lost their significance in the first two decades of the sixteenth century, especially after the onset of Reformation. This presupposes that an aggressive iconoclasm existed in early Protestant art, which rejected any use of Old Testament themes. Beginning in 1985, Friedrich Ohly published works emphasizing Luther's traditional way of interpreting and making use of typology. He pointed out that, especially in his last years, Luther used typological schemes to elucidate events in the sacred life of Christ through references to the Old Testament.

Keywords: eucharist; Lutheran tradition

10.1163/9789004260177_019
/content/books/b9789004260177_019
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