The Poisoned Chalice: Eucharistic Grape Juice and Common-Sense Realism in Victorian Methodism (Hardback)Jennifer L. Woodruff Tait (author)
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Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
"Tait skillfully shows how late nineteenth century and early twentieth concerns about cleanliness, and the acceptance of the germ theory of disease reinforced ideas . . . to end the use of fermented wine in communion. . . . This is a timely and important book that illuminates the logic of perhaps the single most significant and misunderstood reform movement in American history.""--Evangelical Studies Bulletin"
"Many American Christians are curious about why some denominations use wine in Communion and others fill their cups with grape juice. The common response to queries on this topic usually includes some reference to the 19th-century temperance movement and to the technology of Thomas Welch and son, who developed a process to halt the fermentation of grape juice. In this volume, Tait (Huntington Univ.) argues that this issue is more complicated. Specifically, she contends that the commitment of 19th-century Methodists and others to Baconian commonsense realism led them to accept scientific conclusions regarding the poisonous nature of alcohol--even when used in tiny amounts. Tait finds the connection between this widely held philosophy and Eucharistic theology clearly displayed in the writings of a number of 19th-century Methodist theologians and pastors. In addition, the author discusses the subsequent and related debate over the use of individual cups in communion. Ultimately, Tait also speaks to the contemporary debate among Methodists regarding the use of grape juice in communion, and argues for the coherency of the argument once put forward by their 19th-century predecessors.Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above."
I would confirm the author s contention that studies to date of teetotalism in American religion have neglected attention to theological and philosophical dimensions of the movement, focusing on the purported role of cultural and economic factorsand have typically been very dismissive or pejorative in tone. Thus, this book makes a significant contribution to the study of the topic. It also manifests much more nuance and balance in its analysis. Randy L. Maddox, author ofRethinking Wesley s Theology for Contemporary Methodism
"Tait skillfully shows how late nineteenth century and early twentieth concerns about cleanliness, and the acceptance of the germ theory of disease reinforced ideas . . . to end the use of fermented wine in communion. . . . This is a timely and important book that illuminates the logic of perhaps the single most significant and misunderstood reform movement in American history."--Evangelical Studies Bulletin"
"Tait makes a compelling argument, and does so in an easy style. The argument is fresh, and will come as news to many historians. The style will appeal to the nonspecialist. . . . Jennifer L. Woodruff Tait has gracefully opened a door to a room full of possibilities. Hopefully, she will not be the last to enter."--Methodist History
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