Theology, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Eucharistic Controversy,
In the concluding stages of the eleventh-century Eucharistic
Controversy, which turned on whether, and how, sacramental
consecration changed the nature of bread and wine at the altar,
Alberic of Monte Cassino composed a small but important treatise.
Alberic was the most renowned teacher of rhetoric in his time, and
his treatise, buttressed by appeal to the authority of the Church
Fathers, was said by contemporaries to have "utterly destroyed" the
argument of his opponent, Berengar of Tours, that the bread and
wine survived its consecration.
Modern scholars had long believed Alberic's treatise to be lost.
This book demonstrates that this crucial document, far from being
lost, is an existing identifiable text. By showing conclusively
that this work was written by Alberic, Radding and Newton transform
our understanding not only of the particulars of the controversy
and papal politics but also of the intellectual process by which
theological doctrines took shape in mediaeval Church councils. The
book includes the full Latin text and the first translation of
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