Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacrifice of Christ: Thomas Aquinas against Later Thomists

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According to Aquinas, Christ’s body and blood are really present in the Eucharist, his historical sacrifice on the cross is not. The latter is said to be ‘represented’ in the Eucharist, but the expression does not mean that it is made present in the way Christ’s body and blood are. Christ’s passion and sacrifice are to be remembered by the faithful as a historical event of the past. This is in contrast with the reading of later 16th and 17th century Thomist commentators. It goes against the ‘hyper-realist’ interpretation of Bellarmine. But, unlike the more moderate theories of Cano and others, Aquinas also does not think that the act of Christ being immolated is ritually re-enacted in the mass by some specific ritual gestures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Actuality of Sacrifice
Subtitle of host publicationPast and Present
EditorsAlberdina Houtman, Marcel Poorthuis, Joshua Schwartz, Yossi Turner
Place of PublicationLeiden/Boston
PublisherBrill publishers
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-09-04-28415-9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameJewish and Christian Perspectives Series
PublisherBrill Publishers
ISSN (Print)1388-2074


  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Eucharist
  • Sacrifice


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