The Holy Eucharist (Oscott) Paperback – 10 Sep 1991
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Nichols competently addresses the New Testament, Church Fathers, the Medieval period, the Counter Reformation, and the 20th century. He organizes his analysis around three themes--Eucharist as presence, Eucharist as sacrifice, and Eucharist as foundation of the Church. Of course, in such a brief book (only 150 pages) there is a great deal of material that must be omitted. There is little discussion, for example, of the Protestant Reformers; but Nichols does touch on all the key persons and high points in eucharistic doctrine.
I was a bit disappointed in Nichols's presentation and critique of trans-signification. He doesn't really make as clear as he should why trans-signification fails in its bid to replace transubstantiation.
I also wish he had addressed in some depth the differences and commonalities between the Catholic and Orthodox understandings of the Eucharist. Nichols is well acquainted with Orthodoxy, and it would have been nice to have him address this subject, especially given Pope John Paul II's strong efforts to reconcile East and West.
I recommend this book as one of the best short introductions now in print on the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist.