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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Impanation

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(Latin, impanatio; from in and panis, bread; otherwise assumptio), a name given to one of the many different shades of the doctrine of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. The theory was first presented in the 12th century by Ruprecht of Deutz in the following shape (Opera ed. Col. 1602, 1, 267; Comm. in Exodus 2, 10): "As God did not alter human nature when he incarnated divinity in the womb of the Virgin Mary, uniting the Word and the flesh into one being, so he does not alter the substance of the bread and the wine in the Eucharist, which still retain the material properties by which they are known to our senses (sensibus subacium), while by his Word he brings them (the component elements) into combination with the identical body and the identical blood of Christ. As the Word descended from on high (a summo), not to become flesh, but to assume the flesh (assumnendo camern), so are the bread and wine, from their inferior (ab imo) position, raised into becoming flesh and blood of Christ, without, therefore, being transmuted (non mutatum) in such a manner as to acquire the taste of flesh or the appearance of blood, but do, on the contrary, imperceptibly become identical with both in their essence, partaking of the divine and human immortal substance, which is in Christ. It is not the effect of the Holy Ghost's operation (affectus) to alter or destroy the nature of any substance used for his purpose, but, on the contrary, to add to that substance some qualities which it did not at first possess" (De Opp. Spirit. s. 3, p. 21, 22). In his work De divinis Officiis (2, 9; Opp. 2, 762), he says: "The Word of the Father comes in between the flesh and the blood which he received from the womb of the Virgin, and the bread and wine received from the altar, and of the two makes a joint offering. When the priest puts this into the mouth of the believer, bread and wine are received, and are absorbed into the body; but the Son of the Virgin remains whole and unabsorbed in the receiver, united to the Word of the Father in heaven. Such as do not believe, on the contrary, receive only the material bread and wine, but none of the offering." His contemporary, Alger, or Adelher, of L ttich, writing in defense of the dogma of transubstantiation (1. 3, De sacram. corp. et sarng. D. in Bibl. Max. Patr. t. 21, Lugdun. 1677), was the first to make use of the expression inpanatio in this sense (p. 251), "In pane Christum impanatun sicut Deum in carne personaliter incarnatum." Before him, however, Guitmund of Aversa had, in 1190, used the same word to express the probable meaning of Berengar (Bibl. Max. Patr. Lugdun. 18:441), whose supporters are sometimes called Adessenarii (q.v.) (from adesse, to be present).

The doctrine of impanation was afterwards, in the Reformation period, but wrongly, attributed to Osiander by Carlstadt. Some Roman Catholic writers, e.g. Bellarmine (Dissert. de impan. et consubstant. Jense, 1677), Du Cange, and others, accused Luther of having revived the old error of impanation. The Formula Concordice (1577) declares that the "mode of union between the body of Christ and the bread and wine is a mystery," and does not decide positively what that mode is, but only negatively what it is not. "It is not a personal union, nor is it consubstantio; still less is it a union in which change of substance is wrought (transubstantiatio), nor a union in which the body and blood of Christ are included in the bread and wine (impanatio), but a union which exists only in this sacrament, and therefore is called sacramsentalis." See Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 6, 644; Knapp, Theology, 146; and the articles (See LORD'S SUPPER); (See CONSUBSTANTIATION); (See TRANSUBSTANTIATION).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Impanation'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/i/impanation.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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