The Eucharist in Romanesque France

The Eucharist in Romanesque France

Iconography and Theology

Elizabeth Saxon


Boydell Press



An overview of the theologies of the eucharist leads on to a detailed exploration of the Berengarian debates of the eleventh century and the complex of eucharistic ideas subsequently developed.
During the Romanesque period in France, and accelerated by a growing introspection and consciousness of self-identity, a penitential focus was given to eucharistic piety. Population increase and prosperity brought greater tithe income to the Church, allowing new discipline and religious regulation in respect of the sacraments.
The aim of this book is to bring together aspects of the multi-faceted penitential-eucharistic devotion, as revealed in theological writings and Mass commentaries, in Gregorian reform, in heretical circles both clerical and popular and in works of art, so that the reader can contemplate, through a wider juxtaposition than that usually practicable in more detailed specialised scholarship, something of the mood of the period. Just as the new scholastic writings impressed by their innovative creativity, the best late eleventh- and twelfth-century art was astonishingly vital and the comparison of art and textual works is central to the volume.

Dr Elizabeth Saxon has recently retired from the staff of the Open University.


September 2006
25 black and white, 1 line illustrations
324 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843832560
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

The Theological Context - Elizabeth Saxon
Sacrifice, Offering and Atonement - Elizabeth Saxon
The Penitential-Eucharistic Focus - Elizabeth Saxon
The Penitential-Eucharistic Context of the Reform Movements - Elizabeth Saxon
Mass Commentaries - Elizabeth Saxon
The Image of the Hand-held Host - Elizabeth Saxon
The Continuity of Offering in the History of Salvation - Elizabeth Saxon
For the Love of Christ - Elizabeth Saxon
Response to the Heresies of the Eucharist - Elizabeth Saxon


A fascinating and convincing argument for the influence of theology on religious art in Romanesque France. [...] A thoughtful and important contribution to the understanding of a crucial period in the history of western Christianity. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
[A] well-produced volume. [...] Provides an excellent and clear discussion of the theological elements connected with and making up Eucharistic devotion during the period. JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION