Given Chauvet’s critique of metaphysics, his turn to the symbolic order, and his theology that emphasizes God’s Otherness, it should not be a surprise that he brings a certain hermeneutics of suspicion to the analysis of religious practice and thought. This, as I suggested in the introduction, gives his work a certain iconoclastic spirit. With respect to the Christian sacraments, his appreciation of certain psychoanalytic insights has especially made him keenly aware of their fragile character.1 This was clearly evident in Chapter Two, which reviewed Chauvet’s critique of the Thomistic/scholastic account of the efficacy of the sacraments. But the danger of sacraments being understood as direct channels or instruments that produce and guarantee God’s full presence and blessing is not just a temptation of the past. At any moment, sacraments can be approached with sacrificial mentality and function in an idolatrous manner. This is why Chauvet has said that sacraments are in need of “constant evangelization.” But at the same time, he believes that the Christian tradition, especially in its affirmation of the sacraments and sacramentality of human existence, provides a path towards “overcoming” metaphysics. Surely this path is at times a wandering through the desert which symbolizes that the turn from the metaphysical to the symbolic is a difficult one that must always be “worked through” [Durcharbeitung]. But despite the risk of idolatrous distortion that may accompany an affirmation of the sacramentality of the Christian faith, Chauvet argues that the Christian liturgy and sacraments properly understood should counteract a “necrotic temptation” or metaphysical desire for full unmediated presence of the divine.2 From his perspective, sacramental participation should be a consent to mediation by which the worshipper, in a state of mourning over the loss of an imaginary selfpresence and idolatrous image of God, awakens to the presence of the absence of the living God. The liturgy, the wider context in which the Eucharistic event occurs, should create a “transitional space” (Winnicott)3 wherein we recognize the Otherness of God. Only then can we be open to the other, care for the other and assume responsibility in history. As a review of Chauvet’s theology explored in this book, I shall comment on each italicized element above for the purpose of

succinctly summarizing what I take to be an essential thesis of Chauvet’s work: the sacramentality of the Christian faith as especially exemplified in Eucharist can help us “overcome” onto-theology.