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Het laatmiddeleeuwse passiebeeld: Een interpretatie vanuit de theologieen vroomheidsgeschiedenis

Charles M.A. Caspers
Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek (NKJ) / Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art
Vol. 45, BEELDEN IN DE LATE MIDDELEEUWEN EN RENAISSANCE / LATE GOTHIC AND RENAISSANCE SCULPTURE IN THE NETHERLANDS (1994), pp. 160-175
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43888616
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

During the later Middle Ages passion images played an important role in the life of the christians. Until now scholars discussing these images have associated them with the sacrament of the eucharist. Accordingly - depending on the place of the image in the liturgy - one of the most important functions of the passion image supposedly was to emphasize and visualize the real presence of Christ in the eucharist. In this contribution the passion images, and especially the so-called 'man of sorrows' and the 'Christ in distress', are connected with the eucharist in a totally different way. For the first time they are interpreted from the eucharistie piety of their time, which I define as the preparation for holy communion, the actual communion, and the assimilating of communion. An important condition for receiving communion properly was the contemplating and, sometimes, the experiencing of the passion of Christ. Images of the suffering Christ served as an auxiliary in this process. Since communion did not necessarily mean receiving sacramentally, but could also be purely spiritual, it was not tied to time (the mass) or place (the church). As a result the eucharistie function of the passion image was independent of the possible role of the image in the liturgy.

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