Sacrament and sacrifice: Conflating corpus christi and martyrdom in Medieval Liège

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Abstract

The medieval city of Liège has long garnered scholarly recognition as a center of eucharistic debate and devotion culminating with the founding of the feast of Corpus Christi. Conceived by the visionary Juliana of Cornillon (1192/93-1258), the feast was formally instituted by Bishop Robert of Thourotte in 1246 and first observed by Cardinal-Legate Hugh of Saint-Cher at the collegiate church of Saint-Martin in Liège in 1251. Over a century before this historic event, liégeois clerics had engaged in a lively debate that generated influential theological tracts, namely the eucharistic treatise De sacramentis corporis et sanguinis Dominici by the cathedral canon and episcopal secretary Alger of Liège (fl. 1101-1131/32) and several works by his Benedictine adversary Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1129). Vestiges of this essentially local debate would gain liturgical expression in the thirteenth-century office Animarum cibus composed by Juliana and her collaborator John of Cornillon for the initial celebrations of Corpus Christi, the antiphons for which paraphrase passages from Alger's treatise alongside other twelfth-century sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-723
Number of pages42
JournalSpeculum
Volume87
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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