Comments on the histories of items covered in previous items
Sku: 54900D0E060
Archival Number: A549
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): Latin
Decade: 1960
Open 54900D0E060.pdf

The skew number is wrong, should be 54900D0L060, since the language in Latin. However, we leave it as is so as not to cause disruption of access.

8 handwritten schematic pp. moving further into the treatment of human science and history. Dated March 8, spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


54900D0L060 (March 8)


The lead issue is E in the scheme: the histories. Lonergan distinguishes Ei, Ej, and Ek, where Ei means the history of the immediate data of everyday life (A), Ej the history of writers, schools, tendencies (B), and Ek the history that integrates these. Under these L writes: Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, Johannes Kommentar, Theologie der Neuen Testaments. It is not clear if these are respective examples of Ei, Ej, and Ek.


Ej is treated first and most extensively in this set of notes. There are degrees of descriptive sciences and degrees of explanatory sciences. Instances of the first: zoology, botany prior to any evolutionary explanation. Instances of the latter are evolution, Newtonian mechanics, Clerk-Maxwell equations, special relativity, quantum theory. So too in human studies. The degrees of descriptive science: there are manuscripts, and there is the question quis, that is, the authenticity of their authorship must be determined; the question quid, that is, the examination of the works and a critical text; question quibus auxiliis, that is, the sources; the question cur, that is, the intention of the work, its occasion, its projected readers; the question quomodo, that is, the process of documentation and construction; the question quando, that is, the chronology of works.


There are both particular and general instances of such descriptive works. Among the particular is Chenu’s Introduction à l’étude de saint Thomas d’Aquin, where the question is not what Thomas taught but what must be known before one studies Thomas. Examples of the latter are Altaner’s Patrologie and Fitzmyer-Glanzmann, Bibliographica scripturistica.


There are also degrees of explanatory work in such studies. First, there is the discovery of a question, and not of a question imported from outside but one rooted in the data themselves. Second, there is the comparative method that studies connections and genetic sequences. Under this heading are listed

          von Rad on the religion of the Old Testament and on covenant;

          Georg Windenhall, ‘Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East,’ Biblical Archeologist XXIII (1954) Nos. 2 & 3, with the similarity with the king’s covenant with a servant;

          the question regarding the sapiential literature, whether it was mere decadence or a new genre

          Lyonnet in Biblica 1945 115-32 on ‘Hellenisme et Christianisme’

          Arnou on ‘Le Platonisme des Pères,' in DTC

          Spanneut, Le stoicisme des Pères du l’Église de Clément de Rome a Clément d’Alexandrie Paris 1957

          Daniélou, La théologie du Judeo–chrstianisme, Tournai, 1958, and Message évangélique & culture hellenistique, Tournai, 1961, with the disclosure that Middle Platonism mixed Platonic and Stoic influences, so that Justin used Stoic language with a Platonic mindset

          Landgraf, Dogmengeschichte der Frühscholastik; the articles appeared first and are more complete, though the judgment is perhaps less sound (word not clear); here the process is from the rhetoric of St Augustine to habitual and actual grace and to the distinction of the natural and supernatural orders

          Lottin, Psychologie et Morale en Moyen Age and Liberte a S. Anselmo ad S. Thomam.


The connection should be homogeneous, i.e., as regards time and author.Thus with regard to Bouillard’s Conversion & grâce chez saint Thomas d’Aquin, Paris, "Theologie,” Aubier, 1942, Thomas never speaks of an elevation of a faculty to an act prior to justification, whereas all modern theologians acknowledge the necessity of such an elevation. Therefore, actual grace in the strict sense is not found in the works of Thomas. Lonergan would say rather, ‘Therefore, there is a difference,’ but whether it is because of diverse meanings of grace demands a distinction. The moderns have two reasons for such an elevation: the supernaturality of the act and the theory of vital act according to which ‘willing’ is ‘causing.’ It does not seem that Aquinas departed from Aristotle to the extent of positing the theory of vital act. [RD: The question with respect to Bouillard is put very clearly in note 17, pp. 25-26 in Grace and Freedom, q.v.]


Next, still under the discussion of explanatory work, there are comparative, connective, and genetic methods. Reference is made to the gratia operans articles, where there is a series of differences: (1) to avoid sin (2 Sent., d. 28, q. 1, a. 2; De veritate, q. 24, a. 12; (2) proportion to grace (2 Sent., d. 28, q. 1, a. 4; De veritate, q. 24, a. 15; (3) one grace in one person (2 Sent, d. 26, q. 1, aa. 5, 6; De veritate, q. 27, a. 5; (4) Pelagianism; (5) predestination; (6) the apprehended desirable moves the appetite; (6) liberty (can be affirmed together with necessity); (7) God operates in every operator. (A) there is the study of the whole movement: Augustine, Anselm, Lombard: Lottin and Landgraf; (B) there is the investigation of vocabulary, not from manuals and commentaries [but from the texts themselves?].


The discussion moves to the history of A, the immediate data of everyday living: buildings, monuments, works of art. Schliemann, Archeologia, 2 vols.

          Accepted and expressed reasons: ? Babylonia Sumeria; Pylos – Nestor – Linear B.

          Letters of messages: Ranke Ross ?

          Liturgies, rites, myths


Is it ex pede Herculem?    ?  Sitz im Leben   community composes ?

Gerhardson – Manuscript and Memory Uppsala 1961

Harold Riesenfeld – The Gospel Tradition and Its Beginning London 1957


Next, there are the crises of these various histories. Minor criticism demonstrates that they have not adequately applied principles or have omitted this or that; as it were, a spontaneous evolution of the science itself, to which there is joined a sort of spontaneous progress in method. Hegelians gave rise to the Historical School: Niebuhr, Ranke, Grimm, von Savigny, etc. Droysen.


Major criticism has two aspects. First, there are fundamental terms by which the investigator thinks and to which what is investigated is reduced. Commentaries of Thomas on scripture, on Aristotle, Dionysius, Boethius, Lombard. Bultmann’s existential interpretation sōma. A. Descamps, Sacra Pagina, I, 132-59. Second, there is the question whether the questions regarding the true, the good, the false, the evil enter in the object to be investigated and in the judgment about the investigation; in the object to be investigated: (a) you can interpret Plato and Kant equally well whether you teach that they were wrong or not; (b) Collingwood – whether to believe the witnesses; in the judgment about the investigation:          positivistic: die Rechtigkeit, die Wahrheit ? Existenz;

          Perspectivism: materia prima – multa ? visionis, tota stadia – pariter valent

H.I. Marrou, De la connaissance historique Paris 1954

R. Arnou, Introduction à la philosophie de l’histoire Paris 1938

H.G. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode Tübingen 1960