The Method of Theology Discussion 3:1
Sku: 32500A0E060
Archival Number: CD/mp3 325
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1960

CD/mp3 325, first part of third discussion in the 1962 Institute 'The Method of Theology.' The date is Friday, July 13, 1962. Note that the information on the audio recording regarding the date is wrong. Sponsored by Regis College Jesuit Community, Toronto. What is the distinction between moral conversion and religious conversion? There need not always be a distinction, but there can be. A religious conversion is a movement from the natural to the supernatural order. A rationalist can have a moral and an incipient intellectual conversion and not be religiously converted. Again, there can be a religious conversion without a moral conversion. (Lonergan is still thinking of religious conversion strictly in terms of Catholicism.) And there can be religious and moral conversion without intellectual conversion. In what sense is God the object of theology? God is what theology deals with principally. Is there some conflict between God as the object and God as personal? Max Scheler distinguished specialized types of knowing as separate departments. For Scheler God is not an object. If the fundamental category is not ens, knowledge falls apart into several separate watertight compartments. The personal element has to be brought in, but it can be brought in objectively, in terms of commitment to truth. There is a real problem of transposition and communication from dogma and theology to the world of community, but it is not solved by making the kind of distinction that Scheler made. Knowledge of God as a person is also knowledge of God as an object: 'God is.' A person can, of course, study theology as if it were a profane subject, or again one can be distracted off into prayer. Insofar as the latter is the case, one is moving into the world of the sacred. A question was asked about the dogmatic-theological context that Catholics assume. Jesus is God: a Catholic priest has no doubt that this is true; the same is not necessarily true in non-Catholic circles. The context is a sapientia insofar as a sapientia is an ordering of everything. The content of revelation is fundamentally in the world of community. The transition to theory occurred at Nicea, and Nicea simply refers back to the scriptural teaching. This transition is the continuous process in every department of human life. What was the point of introducing the human good? It enables one to see how all the aspects of the world of community are interrelated. What preceded had to do with subject, habits, operations. The social mediation of the human good is a matter of operations and cooperations building together into the concrete good of order. What followed was the fundamental problem of classifying developments. The social mediation of the human good sets out the field in which development occurs. What is the definition of sacred and profane, and should they be separated in principle? The sacred is what is ultimate. It is all mediated. We cannot get hold of the indistinction of the sacred and profane found in earlier cultures. There follows a lengthy discussion of Eliade and Jung on these issues. The profane is the present world that we can manage. The definitions are in terms of the proper object of intellect and what is always beyond that. Should the two be distinguished in principle? They are distinguished as a matter of fact. We can't change the facts. All development is a matter of differentiation and integration.

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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon


No transcription available.