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Document Details :

Title: The Investiture Controversy
Subtitle: An Issue in Sacramental Theology?
Author(s): BRENT, A.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 63    Issue: 1   Date: April 1987   
Pages: 59-89
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.63.1.556356

Abstract :
This paper seeks to establish the role played by the transmission of the ring and the staff in the developing sacramental theology of the medieval church, as part of theideological dialectic between sacerdotium and imperium exemplified in Ullman's work on coronation rites. I will be tracing the way in which an isolated ritual originating from Spain in the eight century, at most only ambiguously sacramental, came to take its place as an essential component of episcopal consecration as part of that complex pattern of rites known as the porrectio instrumentorum with its accompanying theory of sacramental validity. I will locate the cause of the definition of the ambiguity in a sacramental direction to political and ideological sources in an analysis of certain key contributors to the controversy. Finally, I will be appealing to a Wittgensteinian model in terms of which the development is to be understood, and drawing conclusions for the 19th Century and Anglo-Catholic historiographic accounts of why the Anglican Reformers of the 16th Century rejected such a ceremonial in the Ordinal of 1552. Our charge will be that such accounts are historiographic because they are normative and not descriptive, and that a properly descriptive account will show that they were motivated otherwise than such accounts suggest.

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