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Monstranz – Gott zeigen Das Fronleichnamsfest aus systemtheoretischer Perspektive

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image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

The Feast of Corpus Christi was only able to assert itself after it came to be connected with a procession. In this visual rite a host in a monstrance is carried through the streets. The intention is to emphasize the substantial presence of Christ in the "accidental" form of bread. In studying such rites, a scholarly approach to religion does not limit itself to popular custom or sacramental theology, but also asks about the underlying functions of the feast of Corpus Christi. The following article interprets the Corpus Christi procession as a diffusion and expansion of the believer's focused attention. This, in turn, was a reaction to the overly strong emphasis on external appearances of piety when the host was elevated. The host itself may be interpreted as the blind spot of religious observation because it functions as a visible sign of the transcendental that is not further interpreted, but is displayed in silence. It is neither negated nor affirmed, though its meaning is presumed and is operationally repeated.


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