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Berengar of Tours played a major role in the Second Eucharistic Controversy, which took place in the 11th century. He opposed the increasing acceptance of proto-transubstantiation doctrines, arguing against materialist understandings of the elements on biblical and philosophical grounds.

Everett Ferguson (Church History, I, 21.II) summarizes Berengar's view as "dynamic symbolism":

The consecrated elements do not become the body and blood, but produce the effects of Christ on the recipient.

Today the word "symbolic" in reference to the Lord's Supper is often connected to the reformer Huldrych Zwingli, who sees communion as simply a symbolic memorial of the Last Supper. But I wonder how close the views were of these two thinkers – how similar were the views of Berengar and Zwingli on the nature, purpose, and effects of the elements in the Eucharist?

  • Is this the same meaning of 'dynamic symbolism' that is used by evangelical Anglicans? – bradimus Aug 29 '17 at 12:46
  • @bradimus Not sure; I'm not familiar with their understanding of it. – Nathaniel is protesting Aug 29 '17 at 14:04
  • Roughly, that the signifying elements (bread and wine) and actions properly used (i.e., according to Jesus’ will and institution) convey but are not identical with what they signified (the Body and Blood). – bradimus Aug 29 '17 at 14:38

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