A real presence: Religious and social dynamics of the eucharistic conflicts in early modern Augsburg, 1520-1530
AuthorVan Amberg, Joel
AdvisorKarant-Nunn, Susan C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the nexus of religious, political, and economic issues that led to the socially and religiously divisive intra-Protestant dispute over the proper interpretation and celebration of the Eucharist during the first years of the German Reformation. This dispute roiled cities and territories throughout Germany beginning around the year 1524 as lay men and women began organizing and agitating to promote a symbolic understanding of the Eucharist. The laity saw in this initially academic debate a vehicle through which they could articulate and fight for their own bundle of religious and social concerns. The imperial free city of Augsburg, one of the wealthiest, most populous and most politically powerful cities in the Empire, serves in the dissertation as the case study for a German-wide phenomenon. Chapter one contextualizes the Augsburg eucharistic disputes both by laying out the course of the academic eucharistic debates that raged among Martin Luther, Huldreich Zwingli, and their various supporters and by describing the social and economic tensions unique to Augsburg. Chapter two investigates the Augsburg preaching of the Franciscan friar Hans Schilling, whose congregation began to make connections between the adoption of a symbolic understanding of the Eucharist and their political and economic interests. Chapter three explores the reasons behind the spectacular success of the Augsburg preacher Michael Keller. Keller articulated a symbolic understanding of Christ's presence in the Eucharist which resonated with the concerns of many Augsburg residents that the clergy were denying them the right of self-determination in religious issues, that the political elites were driving them out of their traditional role in civic life, and that the large Augsburg merchants were destroying their economic independence. Chapter four discusses the role of marginalized groups in Augsburg who formed sectarian cells, articulating their alienation from society through their doctrine of the Eucharist. Eventually these groups transitioned to Anabaptism as they found that their doctrine of the Eucharist would not carry the full weight of their sectarian agenda. Chapter five interacts with a series of historiographical questions in light of the evidence presented in the foregoing chapters.
Degree ProgramGraduate College