Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A New Scholarly Work on the History of Transubstantiation

We have just received word about a new book which looks very interesting on the history of Transubstantiation as a theological concept, The Secret History of Transubstantiation: Pulling Back The Veil On The Eucharist, by Fr Christian Kappes, the academic dean at Ss Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Mr William Albrecht, author of the apologetics website Patristic Pillars. The book has been endorsed by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, Dr Scott Hahn and Dr Robert Fastiggi.

The major chapters are divided as follows:

– Forerunners of Transubstantiation (From Genesis to Revelation in the Jewish and Early Christian Sources)

– Greek Patristic Tradition of Transubstantiation: From its Beginnings to Culmination (From the 3rd to 5th centuries)
– Adoption of Transubstantiation (metousiôsis): A Tradition of Three Churches (From the 5th to 11th centuries)

– The Latin Reception of Transubstantiation (From the 4th to 11th centuries)
– From the Beginnings of Scholasticism to Aquinas and the Definition Of Trent

And here is the authors’ own description of their work: “Jerusalem was the center of the world for early Christians. Anyone who wants to understand the Bible needs to know the mysterious role of Jerusalem and the many symbols and prophecies surrounding her in the Scriptures. The present work’s readability has everyman in mind and thus avoids technicalities and dizzying vocabulary and concepts that cause boredom or confusion. The code or insider vocabulary of the Bible presupposes Christian knowledge of anything from local plants to animals and the Temple on Zion. The reader’s mind will be initiated into every mystery surrounding the Jerusalemite technical term: “transubstantiation,” as witnessed among Christians of the Holy City. The reader will marvel how the Bible constantly refers to it from Genesis through to Revelation. The Bible’s underlying message will never be the same again. Anything from the fiery coals of manna falling from heaven to the fiery Seraph on the manna or frankincense tree all have a role in this intense drama. The authors meticulously trace Biblical and Jerusalemite use of transubstantiation from Antiquity by all the major Churches of ancient Christendom whose witnesses culminate in defining the mystery officially in the 1500s. No significant philosopher or theologian is neglected with new names and sources (never before explored on the topic) now made available in plain English and presented in a readable narrative. This is the final word on the history, origins, and meaning of transubstantiation in the Bible and Church history.”

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