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Sacramentarians

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Sacramentarians, the name given to those who during the Reformation controversies not only denied the Roman Catholic transubstantiation, but also the Lutheran sacramental union.

They comprised two parties:

  1. the followers of Capito, Carlstadt and Bucer, who at the diet of Augsburg presented the Confessio Tetrapolitana from Strassburg, Konstanz, Lindau and Memmingen
  2. the followers of the Swiss reformer Zwingli, who to the same diet presented his private confession of faith.

The doctrinal standpoint was the same--an admission of a spiritual presence of Christ which the devout soul can receive and enjoy, but a total rejection of any physical or corporeal presence.

After holding their own view for some years the four cities accepted the Confession of Augsburg, and were merged in the general body of Lutherans; but Zwingli's position was incorporated in the Helvetic Confession. It is a curious inversion of terms that in recent years has led to the name Sacramentarians being applied to those who hold a high or extreme view of the efficacy of the sacraments.


This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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