Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Edible Presence

Sweet Jesus? Really? That's a problem for people?

I'm sure that there are plenty of people with a secular orientation who think, "lighten up." Such would be the response of anyone who would oppose religion to reason.

But I am more than befuddled that Christians, especially Catholics, would take offense. The Last Supper and Eucharist forces all Christians to confront the meaning of the body and the blood in scripture and liturgy and the meaning of eating that body and blood. Moreover, there is a long history in which this issue has been pondered (see Abendmahlstreit). Either there is a real presence and real eating, a symbolic presence and symbolic eating, a spiritual presence and spiritual eating, or no real presence and no really meaningful act. In any case, the notion of eating Christ has been regularized by all Christian denominations, and those that dismiss the Eucharist cannot claim that the notion is sacrilegious.

The controversy over Cosimo Cavallaro sculpture ought to serve as another example of where fundamentalism departs from religion. Control of symbols is at the heart of the matter. Jesus appears every week in an edible form (exposing his humanity should not shock people). Where have protesters been until now?


At 2:30 PM, Blogger melissa said...

Nathanael, I am a student at a university in Tennessee and I wanted to quote you on a few things you wrote regarding the Abendmahlstreit..if that's okay with you, that is. order to do so, I have to have your last name for my bibliography! My e-mail address is ...I would really appreciate your help!
Thanks so much


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