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Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture Paperback – 21 Aug 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Revised ed. edition (21 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521438055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521438056
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Miri Rubin writes with a lithe and subtle forcefulness … a work of originality, learning and imagination.' The Times Literary Supplement

'The avowed aim of Dr Rubin's book is to decode the eucharistic language used by theologians and the rituals of eucharistic worship in the later middle ages … an erudite and lively study.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description

A paperback edition of Miri Rubin's highly successful study of later medieval culture seen through its central symbol, the eucharist.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased this book to help me with an essay at Theological college on the importance of Cranmer's revision to Eucharistic practice. As a lay person with regard to the status of the Eucharist in medieval times, I found this book, in contrast to the previous reviewer, both easily accessible and fascinating. The stories which interlace the narrative are immensely helpful in conveying how the status of the host and the wine became elevated to the point where taking the mass became such a sacred act as to be virtually denied to those outside the priesthood.

This is an excellent book and thoroughly accessible to historian and layperson alike. Miri Rubin deserves great credit for crafting this book so well as to turn one such as me, who was only reading the book to glean relevant bits for an essay, into an enthusiast of the subject. I would recommend this textbook to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
The methodology followed by Miri Rubin to deal with such a topic is a perfect example of excellent academic work. It is is based on research of many original documents and demonstrate also the richness of the many approaches to Corpus Christi in England, France, Italy and Germany mainly. One can understand for example how institutions such as Corpus Christi processions took such an importance not only from the Church point of view but also for the laity, the guilds,merchants,bourgeois,nobility...Issues around the meaning of Corpus Christi are also well illustrated and show that real and deep theological problems were raised and discussed, transubstantiation beeing one of them.
One can therefore easily understand why this book is used as a reference by many academics and specialists of the period. As a student not so familiar with "old English", a modern translation would have been appreciated
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Format: Paperback
This book is one the worst examplars of ivory tower tendencies.

Rubin is a proponent, following in the vein of Roger Chartier, of studying the significance of rituals within the context of the culture of the society. Such a method requires "thick description" to build up an intricate picture of a given culture. From this thick description, anthropological historians can hope to extrapolate wider judgements regarding the historical period or society. Most famously, Clifford Geertz explained kinship patterns in Bali by an investigation of cock-fights (who people bet on and with what stake, for example, told him much about familial loyalites, expectations, and etiquette).

What Rubin creates, however, is not so illustrative. This might partly be due to the scope of material - 4 centuries of Western European theology and ritual. It is hindered more significantly, however, by Rubin's painful writing style. At one point we are told that the cult of the Eucharist was "renewable and non-exhaustible". Yes, this sounds very clever but it is shockingly tautological. At others, we are implored to understand the deep and rich meaning of language by Rubin's meaningless use of complex sentences. Rubin's thick description made this reader feel thick and sick.

For anyone with an interest in the rituals of Catholicism, there is surely a more accessible alternative; for non-academics, I can only recommend buying this book to display prominently but never read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It is well written, easy to follow, great points of interest and invaluable to my dissertation studies. Oh, also rates highly academically, an essential point!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect
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