The Eucharistic Conquest of Time

Faith and Philosophy 34 (3):247-271 (2017)
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Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologians claim that the unique event of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is present in Eucharistic liturgies. A popular explanatory strategy for this miraculous presence suggests that due to its supernatural character the Eucharist “conquers time,” transcends its boundaries, and allows for temporal coincidence of two chronologically distant events. I discuss the four main approaches within this strategy that can be discovered in contemporary theological writings. The first approach implies a time travel of the Calvary event. The second suggests the time travel of Eucharistic participants. The third eliminates the chronological distance by relocating one of the events into a timeless reality. The fourth assumes multilocation of the event across time. I argue that each of these approaches is untenable on philosophical or theological grounds.
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