Theologia: proprium principium, obiectum
Archival Number: A547
Author: Lonergan, B.
8 handwritten schematic pp., dated March 4, from spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae. On proper object, principles, method of theology
Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran
54700D0L060 – March 1 1963
Theology’s proper principle is reason illumined by faith. Its object is an understanding of the mysteries. This emerges in fieri by the interplay of dogma and the sources, and in facto esse in systematics. The mediation is through Christ and the Church. The proper method has Christ and the Church as the given, and the science is not a natural science nor a human science but a theological science.
Again, the structure of the object and the a priori functions in the human sciences can be lined up in the six points already seen: (A) experience and understanding, the vécu, actus exercitus; (B) authors, tendencies, schools: experiment, explication, the thématique, actus signatus; (C) die Wendung zur Idee; (D) a new question of authors, tendencies, and schools; (E) the histories of A, B, C, and D; and (F) the crisis of things historical.
Again too, undifferentiated, total, superdeterminate meaning characterizes constitutive symbols, intersubjective symbols, incarnate symbols, artistic symbols. Differentiated meaning is linguistic: the indicative or the constitutive or both the indicative and the constitutive. The indicative is distinguished into the grammatical and the dictionary: the grammatical covers nouns, pronouns, adjectives; verbs, adverbs; conjunctives, subjunctives, prepositions. The constitutive: the meaning of life over against the absurd, the struggle for existence and the struggle for meaning; the meaning of the love by which the beloved is loved; the meaning of the family by which this family lives; the meaning of democracy by which this democracy is a democracy; the meaning of religion in a religious person. This constitutive meaning develops from the global through differentiation to integration and organicity in the individual, in a given culture, in the human race. It is rooted in intentional human nature. It is communicated through the common life, education. It is exhibited through humane letters and liberal arts. It is differentiated in accord with the individuality of a person, a people, a history.
Next there is the differentiation of consciousness itself. [Here a the diagram transcribed from Lonergan’s notes is helpful, but I was not able to insert it into this transcription. The reader is asked to look at the PDF of Lonergan's notes. The following notations make sense only in terms of that diagram.]
1 the visible world, world of community
1-2 the systematic exigence
2 the world of theory
2-3 the critical exigence
3 the world of interiority (Hegel)
3-0-1 the methodical exigence
3-0-2 the problem of integration
3-0-4 differentiated consciousness
4 the sacred differentiated and mediated by 123
1-4 liturgy, Church
Not simultaneous in many spheres – free oscillation = integration
[RD: this is the same problem as was so prominent in 1962 De methodo theologiae and in the Regis summer institute -- oscillations between the worlds.]
Next, undifferentiation and differentiations
There is a distinction between meaning that is undifferentiated, meaning that is differentiated in ordinary language, and meaning that is differentiated in technical language: lux, penumbra, umbra, tenebrae (light, penumbra, shadow, darkness).
[Marginal: Langer 242 ff. I presume the reference is to Feeling and Form, which picks up several pages into a chapter entitled ‘Life and Its Image,’ with discussion of Freud.]
Freud (1) that which can be shown [but is not appropriate] darstellbar. (2) Super-determination: opposites regarding the same thing are not excluded. Ambivalence: love and hate, joy and sadness, desire and fear. (3) Because opposites are not excluded, there is no negation in the proper sense of the term. Poets negate, but what is negated is evoked. Because it is negated, what is evoked is ambient, standing around, indeed (tenue pallidum). (4) This is not a matter of logical argumentation. There is repetition of various kinds. ‘I have said it thrice. What is said three times is true’ (Lewis Carroll). (5) condensation: several objects are simultaneously ? (6) Binswanger: preformation. Traum und Existenz, dreams of the morning. (7) Homology (Jung, Eliade): (a) hallucinatory dreams; (b) bronze age, iron age, primitive; (c) hermetic; (d) alchemists: Chinese, Indian, European; (8) conflict: C. Odier, Les deux sources consciente & inconsciente de la morale, Geneve, 1943.
Distinction of meaning, linguistic differentiation and technical differentiation.
(1) Flat earth: space as [pondere meo cogitem?]
(2) Newton: f = ma f vis (real)
Today: f (x,y, z, t) = ma
(3) Philosophy: if a cognitive act is similar to ocular vision, what is necessarily valid is per se known; but if it is dissimilar, what is necessarily invalid is per se known.
(1) the more one approaches the elementary and undifferentiated, the more there is attained a universal language, symbols that are intelligible to all, even the learned; (2) elementary undifferentiated meaning is not at all to be considered in a materialistic fashion. ‘Light’ does not mean ‘merely material light.’ This presupposes the development of a differentiation. The accusation of Socrates, tên selênên gên, signifies more a spiritual light than a material one, even though this could not have been said in any reflex manner at that time. (3) Classicism: The Greeks (distinguished?) natural and rhetorical (poetic, story) speech, and proper and transferred meaning. As far as literary genres are concerned, for the classicist mind, either someone says what he means or he is using a literary genre. We all use literary genres at all times. Proper meaning is not something abstract, per se notum, but is that which is more common and familiar in some determinate cultural and social milieu. (4) The transcendental aspect: the interpreter can reach to the mind of another to the extent that one (a) either experiences similar things or can imagine them as experienced, (b) can understand the ‘thing,’ the mode of understanding, (c) can grasp judgments and decisions. (On the written page) nothing more is given than black marks on white paper.