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Appropriating the Lonergan Idea

Appropriating the Lonergan Idea

Frederick E. Crowe
Edited by Michael Vertin
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 410
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  • Book Info
    Appropriating the Lonergan Idea
    Book Description:

    A wide variety of topics is explored in this collection, from Lonergan's early academic career and the evolution of his notion of God, to the dynamic of ecclesial learning and the missions of the Trinity.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7093-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Editor’s Introduction to the 2006 Edition
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Michael Vertin
  4. Editor’s Introduction
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Abbreviated Titles of Certain Works of Bernard Lonergan
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. I. Exploring

    • 1 The Growing Idea
      (pp. 3-12)

      The formation of the young Lonergan from his birth at Buckingham, Quebec, on 17 December 1904, to the end of his sophomore year at Loyola College, Montreal, was probably not significantly different from that of thousands of other Canadian boys of his time. But in the summer of 1922 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Guelph, Ontario, and began to encounter more distinctive influences. His two years of ascetical training finished, he returned to his interrupted study of the classics in an atmosphere of somewhat more concentrated attention than would be normal in a secular college. It was a particular...

    • 2 The Origin and Scope of Bernard Lonergan’s Insight
      (pp. 13-30)

      Fr. Lonergan’s long-awaitedInsight, a quarter of a century maturing, some five years in actual composition, and three more in reaching the bookstalls, has at last appeared in a neat and reasonably priced volume that does credit to the courage and scientific interest of the publishers.

      Reviewers regularly complain about the difficulty of their task of compressing a whole volume into a few pages, but faced with a book like this they may well throw up their hands in complete despair. The wealth of ideas here is truly enormous; hardly a page but merits special attention. The depth of the...

    • 3 Neither Jew nor Greek, but One Human Nature and Operation in All
      (pp. 31-50)

      The differences between Hebrew and Greek thought-patterns are a common-place today in the academic world, and are rapidly becoming such in popular journalism. One sees the dynamic opposed to the static, the existential to the essentialist, the concrete view to the abstract, the active surrender of faith to the cold speculation of reason. The temporal and historical are contrasted with the timeless and unchanging and permanent, and the total view, in which knowing includes loving, to the analytic tendency which distinguishes faculties, habits, and acts, categorizing the latter according to their specifically differing objects.

      It is no argument against the...

    • 4 An Exploration of Lonergan’s New Notion of Value
      (pp. 51-70)

      This is a very concise statement of what seems to me to be an extremely important development. I propose to study it in this paper and my interest is not, I hope, foreign to that of our symposium. The notions of good and value enter explicitly as a factor in the functional specialty of dialectic, and it seemed to me that a study of Lonergan’s advance under this heading, and an exploration or at least indication of a few of the questions it raises, could have some utility for our discussions.

      We should not, of course, lose perspective in this...

    • 5 Bernard Lonergan’s Thought on Ultimate Reality and Meaning
      (pp. 71-105)

      Bernard J. F. Lonergan was born of Irish-English stock in the Province of Quebec in 1904. From sophomore year at Loyola College in Montreal he joined the Society of Jesus at Guelph, Ontario, in 1922. For the next eighteen years his life followed a normal Jesuit course as he moved through the Guelph Novitiate, Heythrop College (England), London University and the Gregorian University (Rome); the objectives: training in the religious life, in languages, philosophy, and theology, with bits and pieces of science and the humanities thrown in and some specialization in mathematics. The long period of study was broken in...

    • 6 The Human Mind and Ultimate Reality
      (pp. 106-115)

      The invitation to discuss, in the context of Bernard Lonergan’s thought, the questions raised by Dr. Leahy is most welcome—doubly so, for it gives me the opportunity to pursue an argument I first set forth in this journal three years ago.¹ But forced to be extremely brief, I will offer only isolated remarks under only three headings: (1) cognitional theory, (2) theories of being formulated in terms of cognitional theory, and (3) the question of ultimate reality, raised as a question, in terms of knowing and being.

      Let me, however, in preface to these remarks, put our discussion in...

    • 7 Bernard Lonergan and Liberation Theology
      (pp. 116-126)

      This article, to judge from its title, may seem to appear, somewhat like Melchisedech, without contextual father or mother, so perhaps I should take a moment to introduce it. The general context is that of the turn in our times from the abstract to the concrete, from speculation to involvement, from the merely academic and cerebral to commitment and action, from mere contemplation of history (as a famous phrase has it) to the changing of history. In this general context much modern theology, and liberation theology in particular, finds a natural home. Thus, Paulo Freire writes that we must “get...

    • 8 Bernard Lonergan as Pastoral Theologian
      (pp. 127-144)

      The title of this article will surprise those who have thought Bernard Lonergan to be primarily a speculative theologian isolating himself from the involvement that is so characteristic of contemporary theology. But it is largely with the purpose of correcting such a view that I have chosen this topic, and it seems appropriate that the correction should appear in the organ of that Gregorian University where Lonergan wrote most of the abstruse Latin theology which earned him the reputation of being excessively intellectual in his interests.

      Still, I do not regard the mere reversal of mistaken views on this point...

    • 9 The Task of Interpreting Lonergan
      (pp. 145-160)

      I am grateful for the privilege of introducing this symposium, so generously organized by the University of Santa Clara, on the significance for religion and culture of the work of Bernard Lonergan. With all of you here, I recognize the seminal promise and potential of that work, I am aware of the problems that crowd the field of religion and culture, and I hope for a creative discussion among us that will bring the power of the ideas to bear on the obstinacy of the problems. Such creative thinking is not only the permanent ulterior motive we all have for...

  8. II. Expanding

    • 10 Jerusalem at the Heart of Athens: The Christian University
      (pp. 163-171)

      The task assigned me this afternoon is a difficult one. It could be described as the task of being wise. In ancient biblical times there was a professional class of wise men; that is, where one young man might choose fishing as his occupation, and another farming, a third would choose to be a wise man. Some such special class of men is very much needed at this time of year; a university might then draw on their members when it would deliver a last piece of wisdom to its graduates before they go out into the world in independence...

    • 11 The Responsibility of the Theologian, and the Learning Church
      (pp. 172-192)

      The topic on which I was invited and on which I agreed to speak was conscience, and specifically, conscience in regard to the encyclicalHumanae vitae.¹ Nevertheless, the course of my reflections as I prepared the paper led me somewhat away from that pair of terms, and I am therefore going to take certain liberties with my assignment. I will speak regularly of responsibility rather than of conscience, and I will talk of responsibility to the ongoing Church rather than about responsibility in regard to the encyclical itself. I do intend to speak of the theologian’s responsibility, but that is...

    • 12 Eschaton and Worldly Mission in the Mind and Heart of Jesus
      (pp. 193-234)

      I am conscious of taking on a difficult job when I offer to talk to you about the eschaton in the mind and heart of Jesus and to relate it to his mission on earth. Every word in the title raises a host of problems. To make it worse, the problems do not stand still; there will be different problems for different persons, or different problems for the same person depending on whether he is investigating as a historian or praying as a believer. Maybe then the best beginning would be to sort out some of the problems and indicate...

    • 13 Dialectic and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
      (pp. 235-251)

      This week of study has been advertised as a Lonergan Workshop, so my first step might be to work out an approach to such a workshop and to see how my paper can be located in the project. This is not just a simple exercise in thought, for there has been developing in regard to Fr. Lonergan’s ideas a certain polarization from which I for one wish to separate myself. It seems to me that a sober approach would be to apply the first four functional specialties ofMethodto the study of Lonergan himself and to determine, each of...

    • 14 Theology and the Past: Changing Views on the Sources
      (pp. 252-264)

      The principle by which I divide into two talks what I have to say to you on theology, and relate those talks to one another, is extremely simple. We are just entering the month of Janus, who faced both the past and the future, so in the spirit of Janus I will devote my first talk to the views theology has taken of its sources in the past, and my second to the task theology must assume of constructing a future for itself and for the people of God whom it serves.

      This principle of division, I say, is extremely...

    • 15 Theology and the Future: Responsible Innovation
      (pp. 265-276)

      If there is some truth in the historical analysis of my first talk, and in the new understanding of the sources that I think the centuries have contributed, then we have fulfilled one very important condition for a theology that is truly creative. That is, we have made room for a relation to the future and to a new theology that was certainly not easy and maybe not even possible when we thought of the word of God mainly as an eternal word in human language that would echo through the ages. If, however, the great and primary and all-sufficient...

    • 16 The Janus Problematic: Tradition versus Innovation
      (pp. 277-296)

      Janus was the old Roman god of beginnings, and as well the god of gates, for in ancient times important events in life began at the city gates. So we have January, named from Janus, as the first month of each new year; it is the gate through which we enter a new unit of history, moving forward not without apprehension into the unknown future. A passage from M. Louise Haskins is pertinent here. “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And...

    • 17 Son and Spirit: Tension in the Divine Missions?
      (pp. 297-314)

      A remark of George Tyrrell, in the work he completed just weeks before he died, will serve to introduce my topic. It has to do with the quest of the historical Jesus, as it came to be called, and specifically with what Harnack found as he joined in that quest: “The Christ that Harnack sees, looking back through nineteen centuries of Catholic darkness, is only the reflection of a Liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a deep well.”¹ Nearly three-quarters of a century have passed since Tyrrell’s time, to make us a sadder and a wiser race. We...

    • 18 A Threefold Kenôsis of the Son of God
      (pp. 315-323)

      The wordkenôsiscame into Christian theology from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, where it is asserted of Christ Jesus that he “emptied” himself. In Greek:heauton ekenôsen;in Latin:semet ipsum exinanivit, rendered inThe New English Bible: “he . . . made himself nothing” (Phil 2:7). Exegetes are divided on whether Paul asserts this of the preexistent Son of God, in which case thekenôsis, the emptying, occurs in the event itself of the incarnation, or of the Son of God on earth, in which case the poverty of the Son’s human condition is seen as a...

    • 19 Son of God, Holy Spirit, and World Religions
      (pp. 324-343)

      A year ago the Chancellor’s Lecture at Regis College discussed the contemporary significance of Luther’s theology.¹ The series began, then, appropriately enough for a college in the Toronto School of Theology, with an exercise in ecumenism. It was, however, ecumenism in the usual sense: dialogue and fellowship in the family of Christian churches, and it seemed natural to move on this year to the wider ecumenism: dialogue and fellowship in the family of world religions. It was a logical step, but not just logical; it would meet a religious need as well. The Toronto School of Theology was not primarily...

    • 20 An Expansion of Lonergan’s Notion of Value
      (pp. 344-359)

      Eleven years ago, during the first Lonergan Workshop held at Boston College, I gave a paper called “An Exploration of Lonergan’s New Notion of Value.”¹ If I move now from exploration to expansion, I am only following a course already mapped in a Boston College brochure, which describes this workshop as a “conference exploring and expanding the implications of Lonergan’s work.” Of course, it is not just theimplicationsof the work that need this double attention, but theworkitself too; and so, having explored to some extent Lonergan’s work on the notion of value, I undertake now to...

    • 21 The Life of the Unborn: Notions from Bernard Lonergan
      (pp. 360-369)

      The “termination” of so many young lives—in the United States alone, a million and a half each year—lives that would otherwise have issued in the birth of children, members of the human race, must be traumatic for those immediately involved: the lawyers and moralists who deal with the legal and ethical aspects; the pastors who help the troubled to form their consciences and to be true to their responsibilities; above all the persons who are co-creators with God of this young life, the ones on whom the decision, whichever it is, will weigh most heavily, the potential parents....

    • 22 The Church as Learner: Two Crises, One Kairos
      (pp. 370-384)

      There are two parts to this talk. The first part takes us up to the colon in the title: the Church as learner, therefore. After the colon, the second part, in which there will be subdivisions: two crises, onekairos.

      The first part looks simple. Itissimple, but not quite as simple as it looks. The complexity shows up if we ask—and press a little—the question: To which do we give priority in the Church, to teaching or to learning? My thesis will be that learning has the priority. At first glance that seems fairly commonplace. Certainly...

  9. EPILOGUE: Homily at the Funeral of Bernard Lonergan
    (pp. 385-390)

    With this holy eucharist, and with these ceremonies, we take our leave of one who was with us throughout a long life, and was related to us in many ways. To some he was an older brother, an uncle or cousin. To others a fellow-religious in the family of Ignatius. To still others, a teacher among his students, or a colleague in the world of academe and in the Christian intellectual apostolate. In each of these capacities, and in the diverse ways they suggest, he was very dear to us.

    With all of us, with all God’s people, he was...

  10. The Writings of Frederick E. Crowe
    (pp. 391-402)
  11. Index
    (pp. 403-414)