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The doctrine of ubiquity is the attempt that emerged in Lutheran theology of the 16th century to explain the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper in a way other than the doctrine of transubstantiation dogmatized in the Roman Catholic Church . It says that Christ can be physically present in the Lord's Supper because he has a share in the divine omnipresence not only according to his divine nature, but also according to his human nature, since the two natures cannot be separated from one another and interpenetrate (“ Communicatio idiomatum ").

The term ubiquity (from the Latin “ubique” = everywhere) was initially a polemical term with which the opponents of the Lutheran view wanted to show the absurdity of this idea; It was not until the end of the 16th century that the Lutherans adopted it as a self-designation. The Reformed theologians, on the other hand, taught according to the doctrine of what was later called the Extra Calvinisticum that Jesus' human nature has been at the right hand of God in heaven since the Ascension and therefore could not be physically present at the Lord's Supper at the same time.

Martin Luther developed this doctrine for the first time in 1527 in his writing, directed against Ulrich Zwingli and Johannes Oekolampad , that the words of Christ, “this is my body, etc.” are still fixed. Against the swarming spirits . In doing so, he mainly relied on William von Ockham's idea of ​​a multivolive presence of God. In the Second Supper Controversy , which the Lutheran theologians fought with Johannes Calvin and his students in the 1550s and 1560s, the teaching was expanded and radicalized primarily by Johannes Brenz , also in dispute with Philipp Melanchthon and his students. The doctrine of ubiquity was included in the formula of concord (Art. VIII) in a form that was toned down again by Martin Chemnitz , according to which the omnipresence of the human nature of Christ does not come from the path of personal unity, but through supplementary communication of divine nature .

From the Lutheran orthodoxy represented more energetic, the ubiquity came in the time of pietism and enlightenment in the background. The Leuenberg Agreement of 1973 attempted to settle the dispute between Lutherans and Reformed people by formulating the task “to reassert what the Reformed tradition in its special interest in the integrity of the deity and humanity of Jesus and what the Lutheran tradition contained guided her special interest in his complete personal unity ”(Art. 22). The Leuenberg Agreement, however, is supported by denominational Lutheran churches such as B. the SELK rejected because of incompatibility with the Lutheran creed . In contemporary Protestant theology, Jörg Baur in particular tried to re-open the theory of ubiquity as relevant for faith.


Web links

Wiktionary: Ubiquity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Walter KreckLast Supper . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 3. Edition. Volume 1, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1957, Sp. 37ff. Reproduced in: Lexicon of reformed basic terms on reformiert-online.net, 2001, accessed on April 1, 2018.
  2. Gert Kelter: The SELK and the "Leuenberger Agreement" - or the difference between friendship and marriage. 2017, accessed April 5, 2019 .