Patristics, Philosophy

Real Presence in Ignatius: Opponents and Arguments – Summary and Conclusion

The field of those who disagree with the views of the proponents hold that either Ignatius never implied real presence in his letters or, at the very least, there is not enough evidence to say what he really believed. Further, this last group might even make note of conflicting evidence within Ignatius’ own letters. It is to members of these groups that we now turn our attention. We will move from those who feel less strongly about the alleged lack of real presence in Ignatius to those who take a more strong position on Ignatius and his writings.

H. B. Swete
Swete, in an article written during the turn of the last century, assigns Ignatius to a school of thought that tended toward a position that “is shown to spiritualise the words of the Institution so far as to obscure their reference to His actual Flesh and Blood.”<note: H. B. Swete, “Eucharistic Belief in the Second and Third Centuries,” The Journal of Theological Studies 3 (1902): 168. repr.in Worship in Early Christianity (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993).> Later, he identifies this more with mysticism than real presence and notes that, on the one hand, Ignatius seems clear in the context of anti-docetist polemic, but, on the other hand, he is ambiguous when the “Docetae are not in view.”<note: Ibid., 116.>  He uses the Ad Smyrnaeans 6 and Ad Philadelphians 4 as an example of the former and Ad Trallians 8 and Ad Romans 7 for the latter. Swete, then, seems to imply that Ignatius is ambiguous overall, and the reader cannot be very certain about anything that he is writing because of these apparent contradictions.

Everett Ferguson
The researcher may be able to locate at least two sources written on the subject of the Eucharist in the second century written by Ferguson. One, included in a festschrift, covers the period of the New Testament through the Medieval period. In this article Ferguson does not even mention Ignatius. It would seem that he thinks that, in the overall scheme of this doctrine’s development, Ignatius is irrelevant. Instead, he begins with Justin to describe the overall view of the second century. The value of this article is that he clearly states that his own view of the Eucharist is to identify it with the Old Testament Passover. Inasmuch as the Passover commemorated the events of the original Passover, likewise the Eucharist commemorated the original sacrifice of Christ: “The historical deliverance is unrepeatable, but its effects are reaffirmed.”<note: Everett Ferguson, “The Lord’s Supper: The Early Church Through the Medieval Period,” in The Lord’s Supper: Believers Church Perspectives (ed. Dale R. Stoffer: Scottdale, Penn.: Herald Press, 1997), 21-22.>

The other source is Ferguson’s chapter on “The Language of the Real Presence About the Lord’s Supper.”<note: Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries. 3rd ed. (Abilene, TX: ACU Press, 1999) 103-14.> In this chapter, he argues that realistic language finds its way into the ante-Nicene fathers for two reasons. The first reason is that they are merely reiterating the language of the New Testament (i.e. “this is my body…this is my blood”). The second reason is because they are arguing against heresy, the main heresies being first Docetism, then later, Gnosticism. He explains the use of “flesh” as opposed to “body” as being necessary because it affirmed the difference between Docetism and orthodoxy.  The Docetists could affirm at least the form of a body, but the term, “flesh” better substantiated its significance as a real body made of actual flesh and blood.<note: Ibid., 106.> Further, Ferguson believes that the locus of Ignatius’ eucharistic theology is Johannine even if it does predate Ignatius’ actual reception of a gospel or epistle written by that apostle.<note: Ibid., 107.>

In the final analysis, Ferguson sees little to warrant a view that holds to real presence in the writings of Ignatius. He does not totally exclude the possibility, but notes that repetition of New Testament language and context mitigate against any strong case for real presence in the writings of Ignatius.

Paul H. Jones
Jones, in is book on the historical development of the doctrine of the Eucharist does not see any firm development of real presence until the ninth century:

Because the doctrine of Christ’s eucharistic presence was not thematized and the early church’s liturgical celebrations were deliberately private, rumors quickly spread concerning the treasonous and immoral practices that attended these assemblies. In correspondence between Pliny and Trajan, for example, accusations extended beyond social and political concerns to doctrinal issues. That is, the realistic manner in which the early Christians spoke of the presence and consumption of the body and blood of Christ elicited charges of cannibalism. Thus, for practical reasons the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the eucharist surfaced in accusations, although early church theologians did not elaborate a distinct doctrine of real presence.<note: Paul H. Jones, Christ’s Eucharistic Presence: A History of the Doctrine. (New York: Peter Lang, 1994) 28.>

In dealing with Ignatius and the issue of real presence specifically, Jones postulates a continuum with realism at one end and symbolism at the other.  He states that there is not enough evidence to locate any ante-Nicene churchman at the extremes of this continuum, but he does place Ignatius as the closest to realism while placing Clement and Origen at the other end of the continuum.<note: Ibid., 28-29.> His description of what is occurring during the ante-Nicene period is one of “oscillation” between these two extremes.<note: Ibid., 29>  In doing so, he presents a stronger but more generalized view toward the development of the doctrine as a whole. He denies that any firm view was fixed in the thought and writings of theologians until the ninth century. While this view lacks the necessary specificity toward Ignatius, it does underscore the problem of a historical a priori argument for real presence in Ignatius.  The question must be asked – how can Ignatius teach  real presence when its very definition has yet to be determined? To be able to affirm this, one must believe that the doctrine existed in the second century because it had existed from the beginning of the church.

S. M. Gibbard
In a little known and less celebrated paper presented to the Fourth International Conference of Patristic Studies in 1963, Gibbard lays out a short but very organized analysis and refutation of the concept of real presence in the Ignatian epistles.  Gibbard finds five distinctly ‘catholic’ emphases within the writings of Ignatius. First, he uses sacrificial terms to describe the Eucharist like thusiasterion or ‘altar’ (Eph. 5.2, Magn.17.2, Phil. 4.1).  Martyrdom is also an altar (Rom. 2.2). Second, he describes the elements of the Eucharist is a very realistic way (Smyrn. 7.1, Trall. 8.1, Phil. 5.1, Rom. 7.3). Third, he ascribes powerful life giving forces to the Eucharist (Eph. 20.2, Eph. 13). Fourth, he stresses the efficacy of the Eucharist on the basis of a qualified administrator – the bishop (Smyrn. 8.1).  This may be qualified by his defining the whole church by its components of congregants and officers (Rom. 5.2, cf. Smyrn. 8.2). Fifth, he “emphasises the corporate aspect of the eucharist.” (Phil. 4, cf. Eph. 5.20, 2, Magn. 7:1-12).<note: S. M. Gibbard, “The Eucharist in the Ignatian Epistles,” Papers Presented at the Fourth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held at Christ Church, Oxford, 1963 8 (1966): 214-15.>

Gibbard believes that each of these ideas are found in some seminal form in the NT, but that Ignatius takes them a bit further.<note: Ibid., 116.> Therefore, he gives three possible reasons for this development over and beyond the New Testament, each one increasingly more likely than the previous: First, Ignatius was influenced by the mystery religions as in H.W. Bartsch: Gnostisches Gut und Gemeindetradition bei Ignatius von Antiochien 99-117.  There are problems because Bartsch relies on the Ad Polycarp 7.1 passage and the attainment to God.  This is not a reference to Eucharist but to martyrdom. Bartsch sees simlar mystery religion in Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1 because he sees “agape” here as “to hold an agape.” Second, Ignatius writes in an overdramatic and impassioned manner as in Ad Romans 4.1.  Some have even suggested Ignatius to be somewhat neurotic. Third, and most likely, Ignatius’ debate with the Docetists brought out some unusual polemic.  The Eucharist became the means flushing out the Docetists and reinforcing the truth of the incarnation.  Just as prayer was a revealer of doctrine in the early church, so too the Eucharist became a shibboleth separating orthodox believer from Docetist.  This panacea of sorts could be applied to doubts concerning the incarnation and problems with unity.  Both of these were resultant issues with the Docetists.<note: Ibid., 217-18.>  In a final gloss that almost smacks of a truism, Gibbard adds, “In this sense the heretics are the elucidators, if not the formulators, of the doctrines of the church.”<note: Ibid., 218.> Gibbard, then, believes that the context of Docetism provides a satisfactory explanation for the realistic language of Ignatius without actually teaching a paleo real presence.

Summary and Conclusion
In this paper we have covered the background of Ignatius and his historical situation, the debate spanning the last 125 years in liturgical studies, those who argue for real presence in Ignatius, and those who argue against it. It is prudent to suggest that there is difficulty in taking any position too dogmatically because of many apparent contradictions, evidence of metaphorical language, and an urgent context full of passion on the part of Ignatius in his writing of these letters. Those who suggest that Ignatius gives us a clear example of real presence very early in the second century are seriously over-reaching. Those who would suggest that Ignatius gives us no possibility to construe his words as implying real presence would be over-reaching as well.  A via media ought to be prescribed for such a situation, but I believe that this middle way leans away from the certainty of Ignatius holding to real presence. At the same time, it cannot categorically deny the possibility of its existence because the corpus is too small and filled with contradictions.

I have developed five reasons why we might be able to say that Ignatius could have something short of real presence in mind in his letters.  First, Ignatius presents too little information. At no time is he very clear, and when he seems clear he contradicts himself elsewhere. Such is the situation when Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1 is compared with Ad Trallians 8.1, Ad Philadephians 5.1, and Ad Romans 7.3. While the first reference equates the elements of the Eucharist with the flesh of Christ, the others equivocate and relate the elements with faith, gospel, and love respectively.<note: Smyrn. 7.1 “They abstain from the eucharist and prayer, since they do not confess that the eucharist is the flesh of our saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered on behalf of our sins and which the Father raised in his kindess. . .” (Ignatius, Smyrn. 7.1[Ehrman, LCL]) Trall. 8.1 “. . . You should therefore take up gentleness and create yourselves anew in faith, which is the flesh of the Lord, and in love, which is the blood of Jesus Christ.” (Ignatius, Trall. 7.1 [Ehrman, LCL]) Phld 5.1 “But your prayer to God will perfect me, so that I may attain to God by the lot that I have been mercifully assigned, when I flee to the gospel as to the flesh of Jesus and to the apostles as to the presbytery of the church.” (Ignatius, Phld. 5.1 [Ehrman, LCL])Rom. 7.3 “. . . I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, from the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is imperishable love.” (Ignatius, Rom. 7.3 [Ehrman, LCL]).> Second, the equivocation mentioned above lends itself to great ambiguity that cannot be surmounted for a clearer understanding. While Schoedel and Kelly may think that all the real presence passages in Ignatius ought to be interpreted in light of Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1, this seems a bit arbitrary especially given its polemical context. Third, the similarity of Ignatius verbiage to John’s means that we have to enough of a difference between  John’s gospel and Ignatius to make a distinctively different case. How we understand John will inevitably determine how we understand Ignatius. Fourth, there seems to be too much assumption as to the clarity of Ignatius argument. Roman Catholic ressourcement argues that Docetism in the context supports its assertion that Ignatius speaks rather clearly of real presence. This argument is only valid if we assume that Ignatius was advancing a valid argument. The case may actually be quite to the contrary given the circumstances of travel fatigue, passionate feelings, impending torture, and near death. Fifth, and finally, a definite instance of real presence in Ignatius seems a bit early for such clear statements if we take the development of doctrines seriously.  This is by no means a hard and fast rule, but if difficulty is encountered with the Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen. How can we be more certain of Ignatius who predates them? Those who argue for a realistic Ignatius deny both Bauer and any view of doctrinal development. Indeed, they imply a very advanced pristine orthodoxy very early in the history of the church. If they do no allow this for the doctrines of Trinity and atonement, why should they for the Eucharist?

In summary, while we cannot argue that Ignatius had no concept of real presence in his writings, we can argue that his writings do not give enough evidence that he taught real presence with any certainty. He provides for us, perhaps, necessary conditions for real presence, but certainly no sufficient conditions for real presence.

Advertisements
Patristics, Philosophy

Real Presence in Ignatius, Part 4: Proponents and Arguments

Any student of Ignatius that does not see real presence in the eucharistic references of Ignatius of Antioch is bound to find himself or herself in the minority. While not examining every survey that has been written on the subject, a rough sample of the literature from the last century will demonstrate this to be the case. There does not seem to be alignment on this issue according to theological basis, or even alignment based upon one’s understanding of New Testament passages on the same subject.  Those who claim real presence to exist in Ignatius’ theology have no problem disagreeing with him. It is interesting to note that several Roman Catholic theologians have very recently written on Ignatius with a view toward bolstering the assumption that real presence does indeed go back to John because Ignatius so clearly teaches it. For our purposes here we will look at four distinct proponents for real presence in the writings of Ignatius. We will start by looking first at a decidedly Roman Catholic group of Scholars and move through Schoedel to Kelly.

Roman Catholic Scholarship
This first group of scholars that support the notion of real presence language in the writings of Ignatius are the products of either Roman Catholic scholarship or Roman Catholicism directly. They are not alone, but they are recent representatives who have written something on either Ignatius or the Eucharist. Each of these tends to wax eloquent and, at some times, devotional when reflecting on the words of Ignatius. There is a bit less scholarly dispassionance and a bit more overt admiration for Ignatian thought so far as they understand it. Oftentimes these authors tend to give less reason for their belief in Ignatian real presence and come close to merely asserting it as fact. Here is a summary of their literature:
Bradshaw
Paul Bradshaw has written one of the latest attempts to refute the four-action Eucharistic theory of Dix. The thrust of his argument against Dix is that he believes the second century rite for the Eucharist to be very fluid and thus susceptible to influence from both Judaism and paganism. With regard to real presence, Bradshaw suddenly, all doubts are swept aside, sees it within the text of Ignatius. He never explains his view in a substantive manner.  For Bradshaw, the most oblique allusion to the idea of real presence by Ignatius becomes a most certain proof for it,<note:  This is exemplified in his distinction between savrx and sw:ma. (Bradshaw, Eucharistic Origins, 87-89.)> but he is not alone in this. In New Testament studies this would be classified as a sort of maximalist exegetical fallacy, reading all sorts of meaning into a trivial use of free variation. Interestingly, Bradshaw notes that with many of the early Fathers there was a lack of connection between the flesh of Christ and sacrifice.  There is the connection between flesh in the sacrament and the very body of Christ, but not a connection to the sacrifice of his body and blood.  Indeed, Bradshaw believes even Justin to be ignorant of the connection.  The implication is that flesh and blood, as pictured in the Eucharist, are connected to the incarnate Lord not the sacrificed body of the Lord.<note: Bradshaw, Eucharistic Origins, 89.> Perhaps there is a hint of Irenaean recapitulation in this idea. In commenting on Heintz, Bradshaw sees a parallel between real presence at the invocation and the miracle of the incarnation:

Heintz is undoubtedly correct in recognizing that an intentional parallel is being drawn by Justin between the process of incarnation and of eucharistic consecration here, just as Ignatius had earlier insisted on the equivalent reality of Christ’s incarnation and of his eucharistic presence.<note: Ibid., 92-93.>

In review, Bradshaw spends little energy defending a near assertion that Ignatius speaks in ‘realistic’ terms. Instead he finds other fanciful connections based upon the assumption of realism within the Ignatian corpus.
Cummings
Cummings seeks to place Ignatius within a long tradition of eucharistic teaching from Ignatius to Wainwright. His list is not exclusively Roman Catholic. He includes reformers and even John Wesley.  Ignatius is his first subject, and he finds real presence in the writing of Ignatius in much the same manner as Johanny. In Cummings and in Johanny the defense is made of real presence based upon Docetism rather than in spite of it.  Protestants tend to dismiss the real presence language in Ignatius because he uses it in a reaction to the Docetists.  These Catholic theologians tend to think it strengthens their case for real presence: “There can be no separation of Christ and the Eucharist. If God did not really become one of us, then not only is the Eucharist “unreal” but so also is our transformation that it is supposed to bring about.”<note: Cummings, Eucharistic Doctors, 15.> Cummings describes a eucharistic union being effected by the observation of the sacrament.  Based upon Ad Philippians 4 and the “one cup of union,” Cummings does not believe that this union with Christ’s blood, but union from his blood. Hence,

The union of the Christian community, as Ignatius understands it, comes from Christ’s body and blood.  It is not a union we experience and symbolize with Christ. It is a union effected, brought about by the Eucharist.  The church, presided over by the one bishop, is “the single altar of sacrifice” in which this unity-making Eucharist is celebrated.<note: Ibid., 14.>

Cummings also identifies the charity or agape of Ad Smyrnaeans 7 with the agape of 1 John 4:16 and its God-abiding-in-them notion.  Thus, he ties the real presence he sees in Ignatius to the moral life. Cummings believes that the reference also may refer to the agape feast, but admits it is only speculation and unnecessary.<note: Ibid., 15.> When he arrives at Ad Ephesians 20.2 he sees the realism even if it is embryonic: “This is the language of mysticism, and should be taken with the utmost seriousness.  It is the eucharistic realism of St. John’s gospel in Ignatian language.  It is the eucharistic realism of the Catholic tradition as it begins to develop in the post-apostolic period.”<note: Ibid., 17.> Cummings interpretation of John colors his interpretation of Ignatius.
Summarizing Cummings, it can be clearly seen that he does less to prove what Ignatius meant and more to demonstrate how neatly Ignatius’ eucharistic teaching fits within a broader tradition. This gives the skeptical reader a sense that Cummings is being a bit parochial in is understanding of Eucharist. He sees parallels to Ignatius’ eucharistic teaching everywhere, but he fails to answer any possible critics.  This clearly seems to be a conversation between agreeable friends, rather than a defense of a debatable position.

LaVerdiere
LaVerdiere tries to provide a theology of the Eucharist as it passes from the New Testament into the early church. He starts with 1 Corinthians and ends with Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho – roughly the period from 56 to 155. In his post-apostolic history he does not regard the Didache’s Eucharist as a valid Eucharist, but he holds to the validity Ignatius’ Eucharists along with the stipulations he places upon it.<note: LaVerdiere, The Eucharist in the New Testament and the Early Church (Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1996), 148.> He provides a thorough study covering each of Ignatius’ ecclesiastical letters; however, he omits the letter to Polycarp. LaVerdiere clearly believes that Ignatius believed in and promoted real presence. He does not so much defend his interpretation as much as he explains it. For him, Christ’s bodily presence has three different contexts:

For Ignatius, Christ was truly human, the word made flesh, in his historical life, in his risen life, and in the sacramental gift of himself in the Eucharist. There is a difference, of course, between the historical and risen presence of Christ. There is also a difference between his risen presence and his sacramental presence in the Eucharist. There is more than one way of being bodily present in the flesh.<note: Ibid., 162.>

LaVerdiere also make as much of the savrx – sw:ma language in Ignatius as Bradshaw does.
Concluding with LaVerdiere, there is again little argument for a position as much as the elucidation of a concept. As with the others, there is a connection between the necessity of real presence as it is attached to the incarnation. For them there is no incarnation without real presence and vice-versa. This seems to one of the central truths that they allegedly find stressed in Ignatius.

Johanny
Johnanny presents his article on Ignatius in a festschrift edited by Rordorf. His pattern for reasoning that real presence is visible in the letters of Ignatius follows that of the other Roman Catholic scholars already mentioned. He seems especially close to LaVerdiere in his presentation. Like some of the others he sees Ignatius as a mystic, but that this ought not stop the reader from taking Ignatius seriously. In this, he at least allows for some of the over-reaching that is down at other points of Ignatius’ argument. Like LaVerdiere, Johanny connects incarnation, passion and Eucharist.  He believes that the Ignatius’ point in Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1 was to bring out this threefold meaning with an emphasis on Eucharist. For Johanny the Eucharist is a proxy making the believing memorializing participant into a real participant in the incarnation and passion of Christ without actually taking them back to the historical moment.<note: Raymond Johanny, “Ignatius of Antioch,” in The Eucharist of the Early Christians (ed. Willy Rordorf et al., trans. Matthew J. O’Connell; Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1990), 57-58.> Later, he attaches martyrdom to the threefold essence of the eucharistic referent, making it fourfold.<note: Ibid., 65.> He does actually struggle with the Ignatius’ way of thinking, but ultimately responds affirming real presence in the thought of Ignatius:

Faith and love have as their object the flesh and blood of Christ who was born of David’s line. This flesh and blood become the Christian’s food in the eucharist, our source of immortality.  They also feed him in the sense that they must be perceived and lived in by faith and love.  The two aspects are inseparable: faith and love are necessary for receiving the eucharist, but they are also the fruit of the eucharist.<note: Ibid., 63.>

By this reasoning, Johanny is able to reconcile the equating of the bread and wine to the body and blood as well as faith and love which Ignatius does in Ad Romans 7.2-3 and Ad Trallians 8.1. This is his way of getting around Ignatius’ obvious equivocating statements. Without introducing the influence of paganism to Ignatius’ idea of the Eucharist, this would seem unnatural. Johanny mentions nothing of pagan influence.
Summarizing Johanny, the reader finds perhaps the most developed ideas of the Roman Catholic group with some attempt to answer the apparent problems with the view. His answers, however, produce more questions. Is it possible to find such developed mystical theology in the very brief writings of an obviously impassioned man with a very short time to live separated from the present by nearly 2000 years? Can we say this much of Paul’s eucharistic theology which sports a canonically larger corpus?
With all of these scholars, there is a difficulty with the multiplication of more problems.  There were some valiant attempts that demonstrated some creative thinking, but the product produced yet another generation of problems. The skeptical mind gets the impression that they are trying to make the circumstances fit prior assumptions. Belief in the real presence and even a specific theology regarding the real presence presents itself anteriorly to their understanding of Ignatius, an almost obvious a priori assumption.

William R. Schoedel
Arguably Schoedel is the foremost scholar on Ignatian studies. The now retired Professor of Classics and Religious Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of only two or three modern commentators on the text of the Ignatian letters. Writing in the Introduction of his commentary he finds only one passage that can be clearly thought to be referring to real presence: Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1. Although he tempers his claims for real presence in other passages, on this one he feels certain: “Yet that passage is sufficiently impressive as to suggest that sacramental realism is taken for granted (and even emphasized) by Ignatius.”<note: William R. Schoedel,  Ignatius of Antioch: A Commentary on the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch (Hermeneia, editor Helmut Koester. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 21.> If Schoedel is to be exegeted correctly, it would seem that he is saying that Ad Smyrnaeans 7.1 is the most perspicuous passage by which all less clear passages ought to be understood. This argument would have merit only if the sure marker could be found here and not in some other passage.  The exegetical debate reduces to which passage is the clear passage, which is a chief determiner of serious exegetical difficulties.

J. N. D. Kelly
Surprisingly J. N. D. Kelly takes a similar view to Ignatius’ language as Schoedel. His somewhat more than passing comment suggests that Ignatius’ alleged real presence statements in view of Docetism may be interpreted as actual real presence statements on this basis alone:

Ignatius roundly declares that ‘the eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father in His goodness raised’[Rom. 7.3]. The bread is the flesh of Jesus, the cup His blood. Clearly he intends this realism to be taken strictly, for he makes it the basis of his argument against the Docetists’ denial of the reality of Christ’s body.<note: J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, Revised ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1978), 197.
>

Kelly further argues from the standpoint of Justin and Irenaeus who, for him, seem to actually indicate the point in the rite when the elements change into body and blood.  Kelly’s interpretation allows the marginally more clear passages of Justin and Irenaeus to interpret the less clear text of Ignatius. While this logic may have its merits, it still presupposes that the condition present in the clearest and later text is built upon a teaching which must have predated that text.  It is, at best, a circular argument. He sees Ignatius as one of the early exponents of real presence and Justin and Irenaeus as mere clarifiers of Ignatius somewhat less clear assumptions.
In summary, the proponents of the view that Ignatius’ writings represent early evidence for a doctrine of real presence range from the Roman Catholic resourcement school to the less obvioiusly theologically committed schools of Schoedel and Kelly. It may be important at this time to note that both the theologically committed resourcement school and those who hold, in varying degrees, to Bauers hypothesis possess models of first century Christianity that presuppose the a belief in a very early real presence doctrine. The former tends to believe it because orthodoxy precedes heresy, while the latter tends to believe it because orthodoxy arises out of competing heresies. Bauer himself makes ample provision for a highly mystical and even real understanding of Ignatius in this quote:

The impression of a pronounced syncretism is further deepened when we observe the presence of magic and star worship, mysteries and alchemy, combined with gross superstition and a tendency toward Indian gymnosophistry, which makes Ignatius’ fanatical desire for martyrdom somewhat more explicable to us.<note: Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy, 65. >

While Bauer recognizes this as the source of Ignatius’ longing for martyrdom, it is not difficult to see how this could be applied to the real presence. Bauer could easily argue that real presence hints at the sort of things as “star worship, mysteries and alchemy, combined with gross superstition.”