The Method of Theology 3:1
Sku: 30500A0E060
Archival Number: Cd/mp3 305
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1960

CD/mp3 305, first part of third lecture in the 1962 Institute 'The Method of Theology.' Sponsored by Rev. Conrad Dietz. The first lecture on day 3, Wednesday, 11 July, begins with a summary statement of the presentation of the problem to this point. He goes on in this lecture to develop this notion of 'worlds.' A world is a field of possible objects. The differentiation of worlds rests on t differentiations in the subject: the dynamism of consciousness leads to the opposition between the ultimate and the proximate; the structure of consciousness leads to the opposition between subject and object; and finally, the specialization of consciousness leads to the movement from common sense to theory. The world of religion differs from person to person, but the different worlds are related by an analogy of proportion, which enables them to be considered concretely, just as they are. (There is a digression on how analogy of proportion enables metaphysics to be concrete in its discussion of the metaphysical elements.) And because we are talking about these worlds concrete, we are also talking about them historically, as they change, whether for the better or for the worse. Various forms of deviation are discussed: watering down, formalism, intellectualism and anti-intellectualism, archaism and anachronism, regression. The discussion moves next to various ways of integrating the four worlds: by omitting one or more, by simplifying, by oscillating from one to another, by transposing from one to another. But the fundamental issue is the locus of the integration. It does not lie within any one of the worlds, but is rather a matter of being able to move coherently from one world to another and giving each its due. This discussion ends the introductory considerations on method that have occupied Lonergan well into the third day of the Institute. Fundamentally, method is 'the mediation of the world of theory and the world of community by interiority. It is concerned with the operations performed. By knowing the operations, one can fix, clarify, and eliminate the confusions that are involved in theoretical objects, and the theory throws light on the world of community. Again, understanding yourself gives you a fundamental analogy for understanding all the members in the community at the whole series of stages of their historical development.' This lecture concludes with and introduction to the question, What are the fundamental theological problems of our time for which method will prove helpful? The problems are strictly theological, and they go back a long way. Lonergan traces them back to the Augustinian-Aristotelian controversy at the end of the thirteenth century. For it was then that there arose the question, Where does the theologian get a coherent set of basic terms? Today we might call this set a Begrifflichkeit. History has come down on the side of Thomas, but today we are confronted with the limitations of the Aristotelian system that Thomas adopted and transformed. The next lecture will begin by discussing these limitations.

Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


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