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Aspects of the Eucharist: Theology and iconography in French Romanesque sculpture 1070-1150

Saxon, Elizabeth Ann; (2001) Aspects of the Eucharist: Theology and iconography in French Romanesque sculpture 1070-1150. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The later eleventh century was a period of increasingly intense eucharistic piety. This is evidenced by large numbers of eucharistic expositions, sermons and Mass commentaries, by the development of votive Masses and Masses for the dead, by Mass miracles, and by lay piety which was sometimes manifest in unorthodox ways. Devotional intensity continued to grow in the twelfth century and led towards the later developments centering on Corpus Christi. This thesis attempts to present some of the currents of this devotion, a number of which sprang from the ninth century but which were given a new penitential-eucharistic focus in a period when interiority and the individual's love for Christ, particularly for the humanity of Christ, were confirmed by developments in theology which stressed the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Debate on the nature of eucharistic union with Christ, on the salvific functions of the Mass, and on eucharistic change were sharpened by the need to counter heretical ideas. Gregorian reform, although not primarily concerned with eucharistic ideas, accelerated the separation of the priesthood from the laity and encouraged the on-going debate on the nature of valid reception of the sacrament. Greater focus on sacrificial offering in the Mass, (which had a complex development) was revealed, in part, in increasing numbers of votive Masses and Masses for the dead, and further emphasised the unique role of the priesthood. Eucharistic imagery, notably that found in sculpture in France, is assessed in the light of these developments. The period does not, with a few exceptions, create new imagery but some early images which had fallen from favour were re-adopted and adapted. In a time of great creative intensity, however, familiar motifs were presented in new ways which clearly, and often vividly, expressed current trends in theology and devotional practice.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Aspects of the Eucharist: Theology and iconography in French Romanesque sculpture 1070-1150
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Communication and the arts; French Romanesque sculpture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119554
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