Excerpt from A Short History of Christian Theophagy
The subsequent history of the eucharist is chief ly the record of attempts to rationalize a doctrine that, after the first three or four centuries of the vulgar era, no longer seemed natural. In transub stantiation, in consubstantiation, in the various ex planations of the modes of the real presence evolved by the Reformers, we see - but so many ef forts on the part of reason to grasp the mystery of the words: This is my body. As, in the contro versies following Luther's revolt, the matter te ceived the most thorough discussion that it ever received, the period of the Reformation bulks large in the present work. After the sixteenth century, little that was new or important was said upon the subject. The Zwinglian theory that the bread and wine were mere symbols was silently adopted by most Protestants, by all, indeed, except a small band who consciously clung to whatever was an cient and impressive in ritual and to the credo quia absurdum in doctrine. Both among Christians and rationalists the matter ceased to attract attention.
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