The always-interesting Peter Leithart has written a fascinating piece in First Things entitled What Descartes Thought about the Eucharist. He observes that scholarly treatments of Holy Communion draw on the work of theologians. Of course. How could it be otherwise? But that eucharistic theology also raises important philosophical issues:
“This is my body; this is my blood” is one of the most philosophically challenging of all human utterances, forcing us to consider the meaning of substance, the modes of presence, the concept of embodiment, the relation of God and creation or heaven and earth, the metaphysics of change, and on and on. There’s inherent interest in knowing whether modern philosophers have tried to untie this knot and, if so, how.