The Method of Theology Discussion 1:2
Archival Number: Cd/mp3 322
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 322, second part of first discussion in the 1962 Institute 'The Method of Theology.' Sponsored by Regis College Jesuit Community, Toronto. What is the relation between the conversion in the scientist and the conversion to faith? The conversion in the scientist is a very partial affair. There is not yet in the scientific field intellectual conversion in the sense of moving to truth as an absolute. Conversion to faith is a matter of going beyond the possible field of truth for a human mind. The supernatural is involved, in both object and subject. The light of faith is the opposite to rationalism. Does the popularizing of a journal like Theology Digest interfere with the true good of theology? There can be greater goods compensating for possible problems. All culture involves haute vulgarisation. Can Lonergan's new terms not be brought closer to classical theology, showing continuity? The integration appears in his theological writings on the Trinity and Christ. The question of the subject is being introduced in theology in terms of the consciousness of Christ. There are other ways in which the notion of the subject is becoming central to theology today. From the other side, is there not too much Scholastic terminology in De constitutione Christi? Lonergan explained his procedure in terms of pedagogy. What is the relation of interior and exterior world to individualism? The individual is mediated by the society, and the advance to thinking for oneself is a large problem for which many are unequipped. What is the role of the will and commitment in all that Lonergan is saying? Is his work too intellectualist? Lonergan emphasizes various patterns of experience and insists on moving from one to the other, not to get them mixed up. Can one restrict oneself to one sphere, e.g., intellectual knowledge, or should one begin with a broader basis in the subject? You have to have the preliminary education: languages and literatures, scientific formation. In theology, if positive and systematic theology are two phases of the same thing, all the different levels of meaning are involved. Theology is a transposition from one milieu to others, and one has to be able to follow that continuity through. The subject: what is the subject, what meaning does it have? The three meanings of the word 'presence' are appealed to, to isolate the third meaning as giving the meaning of 'subject' as 'self-presence.' There are different levels of self-presence: empirical, intellectual, rational, rational self-consciousness. The subject is the 'one who' is operating at each level, the subject as subject. Getting hold of the pattern of the operations is getting hold of something fundamental about every subject. It is also the basis of a systematic metaphysics. Would Lonergan talk of the person as a spark in the divine flame? Intellect is an omnipotence in the intentional order. The similarity is highlighted. Is it always necessary to begin from what is prius quoad nos? What is the starting point of theology? Practically it is the prius quoad nos. On the other hand, understanding what the difficulties were depends on doing the prius quoad se. And there are differences in treatises. The categories for the Trinity are well developed; those for the Church are not. But it is difficult to discuss the question in the abstract.
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