Symbol and Reality

My friend Jeff Steel over at Meam Commemorationem has written a stimulating post on Lancelot Andrewes and Alexander Schmemann on symbol and eucharistic presence: figura et res, veritas et figura. Andrewes was one of the most “Eastern” of the Anglican Divines and had a very high view of the Eucharist. Do drop by Jeff’s blog and share your comments.

Unfortunately, some of Andrewes’ principal theological works were written in Latin and remain untranslated (e.g., Responsio ad Apologiam Cardinalis Bellarmine) and his sermons, though composed in English, are difficult to read. Jeff is working on his doctorate on Andrewes. Perhaps he will find a way to make Andrewes more accessible to language-challenged Yanks.

6 Responses to “Symbol and Reality”

1. John Hudson Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 3:15 pm

Andrewes’ ‘very high view of the Eucharist’ didn’t prevent him from putting his learning at the service of the state and against the Church. He was one of a number of prominent Anglican career men who were drafted to try to persuade captured Jesuits and other priests to accept heresy and schism. As one of the Anglican ‘big guns’, he was reserved for particularly important customers such as Fr William Weston, head of the Jesuit mission in England who, following Andrewes’ failure to convince him to attend the protestant simulacrum of the Mass, spent almost twenty years in prison for the crime of being a priest.

I’ve known many ‘Anglo-Catholics’ who consider Andrewes an Anglican saint. Holy Mother Church makes her saints from different stock.

2. Jeff Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 3:30 pm


I’m not trying to make Andrewes out to be a saint and yes it it true that he was sent to get Weston to come to the English way of thinking particularly in light of the Oath concerning King James I. Andrewes was the most patient and pastoral with Weston and wanted to come to agreement on as much as possible. (Remember the Gun Powder Plot too.) The only difference that Andrewes had on the sacrifice was transubstantiation. He tried in every way to come to a meeting of the minds and regretted Trent making transubstantiation an issue of faith rather than an opinion of the Schoolmen. He hated the divided altar more than anyone in his day and for that I would rejoice. I think we ought to rejoice at his Catholicity in many other ways too. The post on my blog is one of the ways that I think Andrewes and Bellarmine were speaking past one another. I am not certain how many RC’s follow Bellarmine very closely on his eucharistic theology anyway. I think there are others that your theologians would go to first. Is that not correct Fr. Al?

3. pontificator Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 3:42 pm

Haha! You know I don’t know Latin, Jeff. So I have no choice but to go to other theologians on the Eucharist instead of Bellarmine. 🙂

4. Catholicism Says:
July 31st, 2005 at 7:56 am

Anglicans and the Eucharist

The Pontificator blog is really one of the best, and I try to keep up to date with it. His post called

5. Susan F Peterson Says:
August 2nd, 2005 at 2:51 pm

My college -St John’s has sermons of Lancelot Andrewes in a very old edition, (1600’s?). The book is in a climate controlled case but the librarian will unlock it for you and you can sit and read them. Taking that kind of time with them and having been in the habit of reading difficult material as I was then, I didn’t find them difficult to read. I loved the language of them.

Our divisions and their histories are so very sad.
Susan Peterson

6. Michael Liccione Says:
August 4th, 2005 at 3:36 am


Is that St. John’s Annapolis or Sante Fe? I’ve visited both, and wish I could work in either one.