Exegesis and Dogma
Sku: 37100A0E060
Archival Number: CD/mp3 371
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English,
Decade: 1960


CD/mp3 371. A lecture delivered at Regis College, Toronto, 3 September 1963 Corresponds to CWL 6, pp. 142-59, with some improvements over the transcribed text. Sponsored by Joseph T. Forgue. The lecture was divided by the editors of CWL 6 into six sections: (1) Three Exegetical Ideals, (2) Dogmas and Classical Exegesis, (3) Limitations and Value of Classical Exegesis, (4) Romantic Exegesis, (5) Value and Limitations of Romantic Exegesis, and (6) Points regarding Exegesis. (1) The three exegetical ideals are (a) transposing the thought and expression of the biblical authors into ours, (b) thinking and talking just as the original author did, and (c) transposing the original text to a mode of thought and speech common to all insofar as they are rational. The first (the relative) leads to as many interpretations as there are audiences inquiring into the meaning of the text. The second (the romantic) arrives at a mode of thought and speech that is not accessible to anyone who has not spent a lifetime in scriptural scholarship. The third (the classical) divests the text of the psychic component to arrive at the literal meaning. (2) The dogmas come out of the scriptures by way of classical exegesis. But the questions that such exegesis raised were not the questions of the New Testament authors but of later times, and the questions were entirely in the mode of rational discourse. (3) Such classical exegesis is selective, demythologizes by eliminating the psychic component, sterilizes, leaves too much unexplained, is not historical. But it does make explicit what is implicit in the text, and so it does provide a partial exegesis of the text. Truth is an unconditioned, and so what once is true always is true, and what is expressed in one way can be transposed into another. Also, it is catholic, accessible to all who have a modicum of education. (4) Romantic exegesis does for the psychic component in the text what the classical does for the rational, articulating the ranges of meaning on the preconceptual, preintellectual level. (5) Romantic exegesis goes back to the text as it is and brings it to life. It stresses real apprehension, interpretation each text in its concreteness, its particularity, its strangeness, and its wealth of detail. But it is not easily combined with the grasp of fundamental philosophical and theological issues, their criteria, their possible solutions, their endless implications. (6) Thus neither the classical nor the romantic ideal is simply mistaken, nor is either complete in itself. Three points are made. First, the classical ideal has to be divorced from classicism. Second, even the genuine classical ideals have to be superseded; the differentiation needed today is threefold: common sense, theory, and interiority. Third, there is to be acknowledged the relative autonomy of scriptural research and scholarship in giving an account of what is explicit in the thinking of the scriptural writers. The evolution of dogma is a distinct question. But the autonomy is relative, in that there are issues of the authenticity of the exegete that also must be raised.
Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran
Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon


No transcription available.