Substantiation: Trans and Con

In Gyula Klima (ed.), The Metaphysics and Theology of the Eucharist: A Historical-Analytical Survey of the Problems of the Sacrament. Springer Verlag. pp. 281-295 (2023)
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Abstract

William Ockham and John Wyclif develop strikingly different accounts of the Eucharist in the light of strikingly different metaphysical assumptions. Ockham assumes that God can create or annihilate any other actual being without creating or destroying anything not a part of it and so that God can annihilate a substance while preserving its real accidents. Wyclif supposes that to annihilate a being is to annihilate not only its accidents but everything in its Porphyrian tree. Ockham takes being to be univocal, Wyclif allows that there might be distinct ways of being. Both attempt to negotiate difficult terrain between their metaphysics and the theological orthodoxy of their time but with quite different results. While Ockham admits that consubstantiation (the co-presence of the bread and wine and the body and blood of Christ) is the most rationally defensible of the alternative accounts of the Eucharist available to him, he strives to develop an account both consistent with his metaphysics and with a plausible understanding of transubstantiation. Wyclif begins with a similar project but in the end concludes that consubstantiation is the best account of the Eucharist.

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John Wyclif and the Optics of the Eucharist.Heather Phillips - 1987 - In Anne Hudson & Michael Wilks (eds.), From Ockham to Wyclif. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Published for the Ecclesiastical History Society by B. Blackwell. pp. 245--258.

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Calvin Normore
University of California, Los Angeles

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