Berengar of Tours

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Berengar of Tours

(bĕ`rĭng–gər), c.1000–1088?, French theologian, also called Bérenger and Berengarius, b. Tours. He was archdeacon of Angers (c.1040–1060). After studying at Chartres, he returned to Tours to become head of its cathedral school. Berengar is said to have denied the Real Presence in the EucharistEucharist
[Gr.,=thanksgiving], Christian sacrament that repeats the action of Jesus at his last supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread, saying, "This is my body," and wine, saying, "This is my blood." (Mat. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Cor. 11.
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. His defiance of authority angered his contemporaries, particularly LanfrancLanfranc
, d. 1089, Italian churchman and theologian, archbishop of Canterbury (1070–89), b. Pavia. At first educated in civil law, he turned to theology and became a pupil of Berengar of Tours. After teaching in Avranches, Normandy, he went to Bec (c.
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. Berengar was defended by Pope Gregory VIIGregory VII, Saint,
d. 1085, pope (1073–85), an Italian (b. near Rome) named Hildebrand (Ital. Ildebrando); successor of Alexander II. He was one of the greatest popes. Feast: May 25.
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 and Peter DamianPeter Damian, Saint
, Ital. Pietro Damiani, 1007?–1072, Italian reformer, Doctor of the Church, b. Ravenna. He became a Camaldolese monk at Fonte-Avellino (near Gubbio) and because of his rigor and asceticism was made prior.
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. He wrote a reply to Lanfranc, De Sacra Coena, which was condemned. He was declared a heretic, but became reconciled with the church before his death. Berengar's controversy with the church brought about a more explicit formulation of the doctrine of the Eucharist.


See A. J. Macdonald, Berengar and the Reform of Sacramental Doctrine (1930).

References in periodicals archive ?
While at times a prior idea leads to an alteration of eucharistic theology--for instance how the Anabaptist Melchior Hoffmann's "celestial flesh Christology" precluded any eucharistic realism (132-33)--at other times the relation works in reverse, such as the subtle but decisive influence on Lessing's philosophy by Lutheran sacramental theology and his reading of Berengar of Tours, as Christopher Wild's essay demonstrates.
In the 11th century the French monk Berengar of Tours began to teach that the bread and wine in the celebration of the Eucharist could not change physically into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
And it must be admitted, even for the last part a parallel can be found in yet another case on the orthodoxy of a scholastic teacher: the successive Church assemblies dedicated to the case of Berengar of Tours.
Of course, Berengar of Tours could not appeal to the Pope, as the Pope himself was presiding at his case.
The first, Berengar of Tours, was condemned at a synod in 1075 for arguing that the bread and wine of the mass were signs rather than the reality of Christ's body and blood.
The letter is addressed to Desiderius, abbot of Monte Cassino and later Pope Victor III, but the object of Damian's concern apparently is certain dialecticians, possibly Berengar of Tours or Anselm of Besate (the Peripatetic), who put too great a stress on the capacity of reason to grasp truth independently of Scripture.
Theology, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Eucharistic Controversy, 1078-1079: Alberic of Monte Cassino against Berengar of Tours.
The eucharistic controversy surrounding the French scholastic, Berengar of Tours, not only stands out as a seminal event in the evolution of medieval sacramental theology, but also marks a significant chapter in the history of dogma, as theological inquiry came under the increased scrutiny of ecclesiastical authority, and doctrinal consensus became a matter of law.
Turning previous convention on its head, they argued that the persecuting Roman Church could not be the true church, and that continuity had been preserved in the face of this by almost any dissenters they could find, from Berengar of Tours to John Wycliffe.
Endres cast Berengar of Tours as the ultra-rationalist, opposite the anti-intellectual Peter Damian and the conservative Lanfranc of Bec.
The last part of the book, covered in four chapters, examines the tensions between faith and reason in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, and the attacks and condemnations of the teachings of Berengar of Tours, Peter Abelard, William of Conches, and Gilbert of Poitiers.