Finding God in All Things: Celebrating Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner

Finding God in All Things: Celebrating Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner

Mark Bosco
David Stagaman
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Finding God in All Things: Celebrating Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner
    Book Description:

    Three of the most influential Catholic theologians of the twentieth century-Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner-were all born in 1904, at the height of the Church's most militant rhetoric against all things modern. In this culture of suspicion, Lonergan, Murray, and Rahner grew in faith to join the Society of Jesus and struggled with the burden of antimodernist policies in their formation. By the time of their mature work in the 1950s and 1960s, they had helped to redefine the critical dialogue between modern thought and contemporary Catholic theology. After the dtente of the Second Vatican Council, they brought Catholic tradition into closer relationship to modern philosophy, history, and politics. Written by leading scholars, friends, and family members, these original essays celebrate the legacies of Lonergan, Murray, and Rahner after a century of theological development. Offering a broad range of perspectives on their lives and works, the essays blend personal and anecdotal accounts with incisive critical appraisals. Together, they offer an accessible introduction to the distinctive character of three great thinkers and how their work shapes the way Catholics think and talk about God, Church, and State.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4784-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Mark Bosco

    The above sentiments of the Second Vatican Council’sPastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern Worldcapture a transitional moment in the Catholic Church’s attitude in its relationship with modernity. This shift is seen most remarkably in the language of the Council, what Jesuit historian John W. O’Malley notes is a change from “the rhetoric of reproach” so prevalent in documents from previous church councils to an embrace of the “rhetoric of affirmation and invitation.” The rhetorical change in attitude that permeates the Council documents was matched by a new formulation of the Church’s consciousness of itself since the...

  4. Bernard Lonergan
    • 2. Learning to Live with Lonergan
      (pp. 15-34)
      Donald L. Gelpi

      Before joining the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, California, I taught philosophy and supervised the academic program of the Jesuit scholastics studying at Loyola University in New Orleans. I taught in the philosophy department because I had done my doctorate in philosophy with a special focus on American philosophy. I wanted to spend my professional academic career doing theology; but I had studied enough theology as a Jesuit scholastic to realize that unless one brings to systematic theology a new set of categories, one winds up rehashing history. I wanted to create an inculturated theology for...

    • 3. The Passionateness of Being: The Legacy of Bernard Lonergan, S.J.
      (pp. 35-51)
      Patrick H. Byrne

      It is daunting to be asked to communicate why Bernard Lonergan is such an important thinker. The magnitude of his achievement is great, and I owe a great personal debt for all that I have learned from him. Over the course of his life, Lonergan wrote extensively and profoundly about an amazing range of topics—painting and music; economics and politics; epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics; quantum mechanics and relativity theory; statistics and evolution; sexuality and marriage; logic, ordinary language, and symbolic meaning; religion and feelings; common sense; the theory of history; sin, grace, and the theology of the Christian doctrines...

    • 4. Lonergan and the Key to Philosophy
      (pp. 52-69)
      Elizabeth A. Murray

      Bernard Lonergan is counted among the major Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century. His contribution to philosophy with his major work,Insight, and to theology with his crowning achievement,Method in Theology, has been widely recognized at international conferences and is evidenced by a growing body of scholarly publications. Some consider Lonergan to be primarily a philosopher; more consider him to be a theologian. There is also growing interest in his economic manuscripts, the fruit of his life-long avocation. Yet, he himself once remarked: “Fortunately, I don’t think I come under any single label.”²

      He was, nevertheless, willing to refer...

    • 5. Lonergan’s Jaw
      (pp. 70-80)
      John C. Haughey

      Bernard Lonergan, who lived from 1904 to 1984, would have been delighted to become aware of the scientific discoveries that have occurred in our times. He remains a favorite mentor of mine, and when I indulge my amateur’s interest in science I turn to him, not because he was a scientist, but because he gives me a way of looking at these new realities with a worldview that makes room for them, however unexpected or disconcerting they might be.

      One scientific discovery that alters our worldview comes from the field of biology. Scientists have discovered that a mutation of the...

  5. John Courtney Murray
    • 6. John Courtney Murray’s American Stories
      (pp. 83-91)
      Michael J. Schuck

      When I began graduate studies twenty-five years ago, “narrative theory” and “story-discourse” did not surface as topics in my political philosophy, social theory, or theology courses. Systems theory, Kantian rationalism, Marxian analyses, existential phenomenology, personalism—all these were discussed, but not narrative and story. That soon changed. By the end of my course work in 1982, narrative approaches to politics, society, and theology were ubiquitous.

      John Courtney Murray died well before this academic interest in narrative and story effervesced. His scholarly imagination was animated by thephilosophia perennisand by Roman Catholic philosophical, theological, and historical debates adjoining the Second...

    • 7. Memories of “Uncle Jack”: A Nephew Remembers John Courtney Murray
      (pp. 92-98)
      Mark Williams

      In mid-April 2005, while attending a Georgetown-sponsored Ignatian retreat in western Maryland, I realized that the former Woodstock College was nearby. It is where my uncle, John Courtney Murray, S.J., lived and taught for many years, and where he is now buried. The Woodstock’s buildings and campus were sold to the State of Maryland in the early 1970’s. It is now the Maryland Job Corps Center, but the Jesuit cemetery, which lies at the edge of the property, remains intact and accessible. And so, late on a warm and sunny spring afternoon, I spent an hour at the simple gravesite...

    • 8. Murray on Loving One’s Enemies
      (pp. 99-108)
      Leon Hooper

      John Courtney Murray never wrote much about loving one’s enemies, though he did have a clearly identifiable enemies list. Many on that list he adopted from his ecclesial tradition, and some he developed on his own or, at least, gave them his own spin. In what follows I discuss four such enemies and then spell out how Murray—in using and abusing, rejecting and developing his tradition—gave a new social nuance to the usually personalistic understandings of the command to love one’s enemies.

      These enemies are: first, America itself; second, Catholic University of America staff and Roman Catholics of...

    • 9. Murray: Faithful to Tradition in Context
      (pp. 109-122)
      Thomas Hughson

      Catholics and other Christians most likely know John Courtney Murray as a protagonist in the production of the Declaration on Religious Freedom at the Second Vatican Council, published almost forty years ago. Its significance for the public life of Catholicism in religiously pluralist societies remains hard to overestimate. Social ethics, fundamental theology, practical theology, public theology, and communications are theological specialties that also have found substance in his writings.

      Murray’s thought on the twin topics that preoccupied so much of his reflection, Church-state relations and religious liberty, might seem defined by ties to his native land, the United States, and...

  6. Karl Rahner
    • 10. On Reading Rahner in a New Century
      (pp. 125-142)
      Leo J. O’Donovan

      Having studied with Karl Rahner at the height of his influence, and after teaching and writing about him for many years now, I have come to feel increasingly indebted to him not only as a theologian of stature, but as a pastor of my soul. Difficult as it is to say something meaningful about an author whose bibliography famously includes more than four thousand titles, in this essay I want especially to explain why I think him a vital companion for us all in the coming years of a troubled world. I shall first offer a brief overview of his...

    • 11. Karl Rahner’s Theological Life
      (pp. 143-150)
      Harvey D. Egan

      “Strengthened by the Church’s sacrament and accompanied by the prayers of his Jesuit brothers, shortly after completing his eightieth year, Father Karl Rahner has gone home to God. He had loved the Church and his religious order and spent himself in their service.” So read part of the official Jesuit announcement of the death of Father Karl Rahner, S.J., on March 30, 1984. With his death, the Catholic Church lost one of her most loyal sons. Although well known for his controversial reinterpretations of the Christian tradition and for his criticisms of much in the Church’s practical life, Rahner always...

    • 12. Karl Rahner: Pastoral Theologian
      (pp. 151-166)
      George E. Griener

      Karl Rahner is one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. The international impact of Rahner’s project, surprising even to some of his close colleagues, irritating to some of his critics, is a phenomenon not yet fully explained by the criteria of academic theology. It also needs to be explored as a historical-cultural event.

      Rahner published for sixty years, in a wide variety of genres. He was continually nuancing and rearticulating his thought. In this necessarily selective presentation, I want to say something about the man, his work, his context, and look at a few central...

    • 13. Rahner, von Balthasar and the Question of Theological Aesthetics: Preliminary Considerations
      (pp. 167-181)
      James Voiss

      Following the Second Vatican Council, Karl Rahner dominated the Roman Catholic theological landscape. His ideas on grace and human freedom opened horizons for theological inquiry at which preconciliar theologies only hinted. The generation of theologians following Rahner drew heavily on his insights. More recently, another figure has achieved ascendancy. With his massive,The Glory of the Lord,¹ Hans Urs von Balthasar has attempted to redraw the map of the theological landscape. What Rahnerians found to be oases of hope, Balthasar has recast as “mirage” and desolation. Many who felt ill at ease with aspects of Rahner’s thought have embraced Balthasar’s...

    • 14. Postscript: 1904 Was a Wonderful Year
      (pp. 182-194)
      David Stagaman

      It was a pleasure to collect and assemble with Mark Bosco these centenary essays on Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner. Reading through them, I was reminded how much these three Jesuit theologians influenced my young Jesuit life both intellectually and spiritually. In my own contribution, the reader will learn where this influence most deeply touched me, especially as someone fully engaged in teaching and research in theology over the last thirty years. To set the context for my remarks, I will begin by examining the contribution of the father of Transcendental Thomism, Joseph Maréchal, for it is...

  7. Contributors
    (pp. 195-198)
  8. Notes
    (pp. 199-218)
  9. Index
    (pp. 219-222)