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Consubstantiation is a Christian theological doctrine that (like transubstantiation) describes the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It holds that during the sacrament, the substance of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present. It was part of the doctrines of Lollardy, and considered a heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. It was later championed by Edward Pusey of the Oxford Movement, and is therefore held by many high church Anglicans.
In England in the late 14th century, there was a political and religious movement known as Lollardy. Among much broader goals, the Lollards affirmed a form of consubstantiation--that the Eucharist remained physically bread and wine, while becoming spiritually the body and blood of Christ. Lollardy survived up until the time of the English Reformation.
The doctrine of consubstantiation is often held in contrast to the doctrine of transubstantiation. To explain the manner of Christ's presence in Holy Communion, many high church Anglicans teach the philosophical explanation of consubstantiation. A major leader in the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement, Edward Pusey, championed the view of consubstantiation. Pusey's view is that:
I cannot deem it unfair to apply the name of Consubstantiation to a doctrine which teaches, that "the true flesh and true blood of Christ are in the true bread and wine", in such a way that "whatsoever motion or action the bread" and wine have, the body and blood "of Christ also" have "the same"; and that "the substances in both cases" are "so mingled--that they should constitute some one thing".
The term consubstantiation has been used to describe Martin Luther's Eucharistic doctrine, the sacramental union. Lutheran theologians reject the term because it refers to a philosophical construct that differs from the Lutheran doctrine of the sacramental union, denotes a mixing of substances (bread and wine with body and blood), and suggests a "gross, Capernaitic, carnal" presence of the body and blood of Christ.[neutrality is disputed]
Was he present in substance ('subject') and accident, replacing entirely all the elements of bread and wine through the miraculous process of transubstantiation, as the church claimed, or present only in substance 'beneath' the elements of bread and wine which themselves also remained present, through 'consubstantiation' as Wyclif and prominent lollards such as William Thorpe and Sir John Oldcastle asserted?
From first to last, the Lutheran Church has rejected the name of Consubstantiation and everything which that name properly implies. Bold and uncompromising as our Confessors and Theologians have been, if the word Consubstantiation, (which is not a more human term than Trinity and Original Sin are human terms), had expressed correctly their doctrine, they would have not hesitated to use it. It is not used in any Confession of our Church, and we have never seen it used in any standard dogmatician of our communion, except to condemn the term, and to repudiate the idea that our Church held the doctrine it involves.
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When this presence is called substantial and bodily, those words designate not the MODE of presence, but the OBJECT. When the words in, with, under, are used, our traducers know, as well as they know their own fingers, that they do NOT signify a CONSUBSTANTIATION, local co-existence, or impanation. The charge that we hold a local inclusion, or Consubstantiation, is a calumny. The eating and drinking are not physical, but mystical and sacramental. An action is not necessarily figurative because it is not physical.
And finally, we say once more to all who prefer the truth to slanderous falsehoods in regard to the largest and oldest Protestant Church, that no Lutheran Creed or Lutheran theologian has ever taught or 'believed the doctrine of Consubstantiation'.
Although some Lutherans have used the term 'consbstantiation' [sic] and it might possibly be understood correctly (e.g., the bread & wine, body & blood coexist with each other in the Lord's Supper), most Lutherans reject the term because of the false connotation it contains ... either that the body and blood, bread and wine come together to form one substance in the Lord's Supper or that the body and blood are present in a natural manner like the bread and the wine. Lutherans believe that the bread and the wine are present in a natural manner in the Lord's Supper and Christ's true body and blood are present in an illocal, supernatural manner.
But in neither sense can that monstrous doctrine of Consubstantiation be attributed to our church, since Lutherans do not believe either in that local conjunction of two bodies, nor in any commingling of bread and of Christ's body, of wine and of his blood.