What Philosophy Can Appropriately Say about the Person in the Eucharist

Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:301-311 (2001)
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The Eucharist poses a challenge for philosophical discourse. Nevertheless, I suggest that we can speak intelligibly about this deepest of mysteries, without detracting from its mysterious evidence. Instead of resorting to the traditional approaches in discussions of the Eucharist, which attempt to explain it in terms of substance metaphysics, I will deploy a speech act theory, not in order to comprehend, but rather to hold open a space for this mystery to become present in our natural and philosophical lives. I will focus on the speech act of giving thanks or showing gratitude—eucharistein—that is just as much ontological as the ontology of things that accounts for most of the intellectual discourse about the Eucharist. My thesis is that the Eucharist essentially and spiritually concerns persons and a Person more than it concerns things.



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