The Method of Theology Discussion 3:2
Archival Number: Cd/mp3 326
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 326, second part of third discussion in the 1962 Institute 'The Method of Theology.' Sponsored by Regis College Jesuit Community. What is the point of the emphasis on the distinctions of these worlds? There are ultimate radical antitheses in development. They can be capitalized on and used as a basis for setting up a new way of analyzing development, namely, through the mediation of the subject. These oppositions are not exhaustive, but they are three clear instances. Relate the separation of sacred and profane to the injunction to bring Christ into the world. One can do a great deal of interpenetrating, but there is a great distance between one's state of consciousness in sacred and profane activities. One can pour into the other as sanctity develops, but the clearest form of interrelation is oscillation. This is not the same as the integration of the ancient and modern ideals of science. This is a fundamental problem of integration. Greek and modern science are both in the intellectual pattern. But there are separations that are much more radical than that. There is no easy unification of theory and common sense. There are ultimate limitations, and we must recognize them and build on them. Is this the problem that Teilhard was working on? The fundamental problem today is that there are all sorts of people at the peak of human culture whose ideas on religion are most elementary. Teilhard was able to talk religion to such people. Such limited objectives are legitimate. But Catholic truth is not contained within the limits of these limited objectives. What is the relation of the discussion of worlds to theology and to theological method? Theology as a science is within the world of theory. The relation to method is that theory has to be mediated by the subject for fundamental concepts and operations and for the elimination of the influence of horizon and lack of conversion. These are the fundamental problems. Clearing them up is the only way to get beyond the overload on dogmatic theologians. We have to know precisely what we are doing and eliminate the disputed questions and face the fact of the possibility of theology as a science. The alternative is the magisterium simply takes over. Many of the problems can be cleared up. What is historical consciousness? Historical consciousness is understanding human reality in terms of the historical development of meaning. There is a transition from substance to an empirically, intellectually, rationally, and morally conscious subject. In that transition esse intentionale assumes an enormous importance. Meaning is formally constitutive of human living, and meaning develops, and as meanings develop, orders develop. From that standpoint one can see that revelation enters into the constitution of human living, precisely as a set of meanings. Is theology a sacred or profane science? The Catholic religion transforms the world of theory, and to do that one has to meet theoretical exigences. Theology is not faith aided by reason but reason illuminated by faith, a transformed human reason. Must one have faith to study theology? 'Must' questions belong to a deductivism. As a matter of fact, if one hasn't got faith one won't bother studying theology in any serious way. Can one come to the divinity of Christ without faith? Most likely not. A supernatural act is not performed by reason alone. A question was raised about reconciling the ancient and modern notions of science. The intelligibility discovered in the singular does not conflict with what is true in the ancient notion.
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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon
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