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Redefining Theological Symbolism

Next time some Catholic says, "the Communion bread symbolizes Christ," you can metaphorically smack that statement into the third row and do your "Dance of Dominant Logic" over their gobsmacked face. And then you can say, "See. I read my Taylor Marshall.":

Our contemporary use of the word "symbol" in theology is rather weak. My guess is that this goes back to the 11th century Eucharistic controversy between the erroneous "symbolic Eucharist" belief of Berengarius and the orthodox "substantial presence" articulation of Lanfranc of Canterbury.

For the heretic Berengarius, the term "symbol" entailed "not real". Berengarius' usage raised red flags and he was rightly corrected of his mistake. However, I would like to suggest that there is another way of using the word symbol that is boldly Catholic and quite helpful.

Saint Maximus the Confessor stated that the body of Christ on the cross was a "symbol" of our bodies (Maximus, Ambiguities 54, PG 91:1376). Does this entail that Christ's body on the cross is "not real"? Absolutely not.
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