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stercoranist definition


Define the English word stercoranist below. Stercoranist is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



Learned borrowing from Medieval Latin stercoranista + English -ist (suffix denoting people who subscribe to particular theological doctrines or religious denominations). Stercoranista is derived from Latin stercora + -n- + -ista (suffix denoting people who believe or practise);[1] while stercora is the nominative plural of stercus (dung, excrement, ordure),[2] from Proto-Indo-European *(s)terǵ-, *(s)terḱ-, *(s)treḱ- (dung, manure; to soil, sully; to decay).



stercoranist (plural stercoranists)

  1. (Christianity, derogatory, historical) One who believes that the consecrated elements in the Eucharist—the bread and wineundergo the process of digestion in, and eventually elimination from, the body of the recipient. [from 17th c.]
    Synonym: stercorarian
    • 1684, Jean Claude, “Of Other Authors in the Ninth Century, Amalarius, Heribald, Raban, Bertram, and John Scot”, in The Catholick Doctrine of the Eucharist in All Ages: [], part II, London: [] for R[ichard] Royston, [], OCLC 79139686, book VI (Concerning the Change which has Hapned in the Doctrin of the Latin Church in Respect of the Eucharist. []), page 245:
      [T]his very thing that Mr. Arnaud [i.e., Antoine Arnauld] believes Amalarius vvas a Stercoraniſt ought to convince him on the contrary that this Author did not believe the change or converſion of the ſubſtance in the Euchariſt.
    • 1686, [Pierre Allix], “That the Treatise Expressly Confutes the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, and is Very Agreeable to the Doctrine of the Church of England”, in Ratramnus; [William Hopkins], transl., The Book of Bertram or Ratramnus, Priest and Monk of Corbey; Concerning the Body and Blood of the Lord, [], London: [] Ch. Shortgrave [], OCLC 29133358, page xcviii:
      [] Humburtus Biſhop of Silvâ Candida calls Nicetas Stercoraniſt. [] If Cardinal Humbert drevv up Berengarius his Recantation, he vvas the verieſt Stercoraniſt vvho called Stercoraniſt firſt, and Pope Nicolaus the ſecond vvith the vvhole Councel that impoſed that Form of Abjuration upon him, vvere Stercoraniſts to ſome purpoſe; vvho taught him, That Chriſts body is truly and ſenſiby handled and broken by the Prieſts hands, and ground by the Teeth of the Faithful.
    • 1758, “Essay III”, in Considerations upon War, upon Cruelty in General, and Religious Cruelty in Particular. [], London: [] T[homas] Osborne, [], OCLC 1205138745, section VI, footnote h, page 147:
      Great conteſts have ariſen in the church of Rome, vvhether the ſacramental bread and vvine vvere ſo far digeſted, as that ſome part of them, like other food, vvas turned into excrements: thoſe vvho held the affirmative, vvent by the name of Stercorarians or Stercoraniſtæ. Cardinal Humbert, in his anſvver to Nicetas Pectoratus, treats him as a Stercoraniſt, merely for holding that the euchariſt breaks the faſt; vvhich opinion he imagined led directly into Stercoraniſm.
    • 1841, J[ohann] J[oseph] Ig[naz von] Döllinger, “History of the Heresies, Dogmatical Contests, and Schisms”, in Edward Cox, transl., A History of the Church [], volume III, London: C[harles] Dolman, [], and by T[homas] Jones, [], OCLC 25389794, section IX (Relations of the Two Churches in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. Renewal of the Schism by Michael Cerularius), page 106:
      He [Humbert of Silva Candida] designated his adversary [Niketas Stethatos] a Stercoranist, because he had said that the eucharist broke the fast; he anathematised him, and all who thought with him, until they should forsake their errors.
    • 1984, Gary Macy, “Background: The Tradition of Diversity”, in The Theologies of the Eucharist in the Early Scholastic Period: A Study of the Salvific Function of the Sacrament According to the Theologians c. 1080–c. 1220, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Clarendon Press, →ISBN, page 32:
      He [Charles Schrader] argues that the question arose among certain 'neo-manichean' groups whom he identifies as stercoranists, who wished to discredit any notion that the Eucharist could be of material rather than spiritual value.
    • 2007, Eric S. Mallin, “Crackers (Titus)”, in Godless Shakespeare, London; New York, N.Y.: Continuum, →ISBN, part 1 (Hell), page 38:
      Adherents of Christ's material presence in the Eucharist had also to answer (or deflect, with ridicule) the stercoranists, those who took seriously the possibility of Christ's body being not only masticated, but excreted, subject to all cloacal indignities.
    • 2012, Charles R. Shrader, “The Surviving Manuscripts of the Eucharistic Treatises of Heriger of Lobbes”, in Uta-Renate Blumenthal, Anders Winroth, and Peter Landau, editors, Canon Law, Religion, and Politics: Liber Amicorum Robert Somerville, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, →ISBN, part 2 (Religion), page 149:
      Heriger [of Lobbes] also composed two works on the question of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, both of which support a realist interpretation of the sacrament against the symbolism of earlier writers such as Paschasius Radbertus and the extreme views of the little-known Stercoranist heretics, who held that it was absurd to believe that the actual Body of Christ should be ingested, digested, and expelled in such crude fashion.

Derived terms


See also


  1. ^ stercoranist, n.”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary
  2. ^ stercoranist, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022.

Further reading