The Theology of Louis-Marie Chauvet
Overcoming Onto-Theology with the Sacramental Tradition
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The Theology of Louis-Marie Chauvet provides a much needed accessible introduction to the philosophical and theological foundations of Chauvet's sacramental theology. Particular attention is given to his appropriation of Heidegger and use of the Social Sciences to elucidate the nature of the symbolic exchange that lies at the heart of the sacramental tradition. This book highlights the prophetic, deconstructive and even iconoclastic message for contemporary society and the church implicit in the Eucharistic liturgy. Common conceptions of God's presence and sacrifice are critically analyzed and the connection between sacramental worship and ethics is emphasized.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Theology and the critique of metaphysics; The onto-theological problem in sacramental theology; The reality of the symbolic order; Initiation into the symbolic order; Mourning the absence of Christ; Understanding Eucharist as thanks-giving; Eucharistic ethic; 'Overcoming' onto-theology with the sacramental tradition; Bibliography; Index.
A graduate of Weston Jesuit School of Theology (M.T.S.) and the Graduate Theological Union (Ph.D.), I have taught both undergraduate and graduate students over the past 9 years. Since completing my dissertation on Louis-Marie Chauvet, my publications related to his work include: "Chauvet and Pickstock: Two Compatible Visions?" in Contemporary Sacramental Encounters of a God Incarnate (Peeters, 2001); "Religious Diversity, Sacramental Encounters and the Spirit of God," Horizons, The Journal for the College Theology Society 37: 2 (Fall 2010); and a review of The Sacraments by Chauvet America 185:16 (2000). In addition, I have given two conference papers on Chauvet: "Eucharist as a Holy Spirited Thankful Giving" (2003) and "Psychoanalysis, Social Psychology and the Sacramental Theology of Louis-Marie Chauvet" (2010).
'This engaging book proves easily that we are still a long way from exhausting the extraordinary riches of the liturgical and sacramental vision of Louis-Marie Chauvet. There is found here invaluable background and discussion of Chauvet's philosophical and anthropological foundations, which the reader will find most helpful when exploring Chauvet's own ideas at greater depth. Above all, it is encouraging to be reminded of Chauvet's treatment of symbol (absolutely not opposed to real) and of symbolic exchange, of the corporeality of sacrament, and of the crucial link between ethics and liturgy, during an era when these risk being lost in the fog of incense and rubricist ritualism. I recommend this book highly.' Andrew Cameron-Mowat, Heythrop College, University of London, UK 'With great skill and insight Ambrose manages to guide the reader through the often difficult thought of perhaps the most significant sacramental theologian of our time - Louis-Marie Chauvet. This study is immensely valuable not only for its treatmentof Chauvet but also for helping us to understand major influences on his thought such as Martin Heidegger and Jacques Lacan.' John Baldovin, Boston College, USA 'Ambrose provides a helpful guide to Chauvet’s work in two ways: the first is his placement of Chauvet’s work in its philosophical context; the second is what Ambrose admits is a sympathetic interpretation of Chauvet’s project... This is an important and recommended volume.' Religious Studies Review