Archival Number: A562
Author: Lonergan, B.
Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran
56200D0L060 April 30
There is a co-variation of personal authenticity, religious conversion, philosophy (critical realism), and theology (reason illumined by faith), because the transcendental horizon is common to all of them.
It is one thing to have a common transcendental horizon, and quite another to arrive at a knowledge, an awareness, an appropriation of this horizon. The latter is a matter of the development of dogmas and of theology.
The process begins from the word of God, which is spoken by the Son of God and heard in the Holy Spirit. This is the word of conversion from sin and conversion to God through Christ in the Spirit.
The very handing on of the Word manifests the principle ‘quidquid recipitur, ad modum recipientis recipitur.’ The horizon unfolds through psychological, social, and cultural development and through intellectual, moral, and religious conversion.
The exclusion of heretics from communion eliminates inept and deformed modes of receiving and manifests the mode of receiving that is conformed to the word of God.
Thus the development of dogmas: the Judeo-Christians, Gnostics, Marcionites, Adoptionists, Sabellians; the naïve realists, Platonists, Arians. Nicea gave rise to Constantinople I and to Ephesus, Chalcedon, and Constantinople III.
And from there the development of theology: (1) Abelard, Sic et non, 158 [propositions]; (2) Gilbert of Porrée: there is a question if and only if authorities and reasons are referred to in support of either side of a contradiction; (3) what is deduced from faith and reason is not theology but a theological problem; there follows the act of understanding, to solve the problem; and there follows wisdom, to order the problems and solutions, where what is first is what doesn’t presuppose understanding something else, and what is last is what does not presuppose anything except what has been understood prior [not sure of this: ultimum est quod nisi prius intelli[?] non supponit]. (4) Extrinsicism is not concerned with fostering and developing intelligence, but with terms, propositions, syllogisms. Decadence: theology is about conclusions – i.e., it does not understand sources or theological principles; history is a rhetorical exercise: theses from tradition are proved from the Scriptures, Popes, Fathers, theologians, reason.
We withdraw to a certain extent from such decadence: commonly systematic theology is despised, because it is rejected or not known, but still we seek an understanding of the sources, and with great diligence attend to the psychological, social, and cultural development of the horizon; but at the same time attention to the intellectual, moral, and religious conversion of the horizon is feared.
Everything can be asserted a priori about the authors in a superficial manner, composed of concrete details: who, what, when, how, why, when; and with psychological, social, and cultural details; but not a word is spoken about conversion of the transcendental horizon. An honorable exception is found in Bultmann and his follows, who however attribute intellectual conversion to a mythic mentality.
Anyone who wants to overlook this question is not able to speak or think seriously about method. Religious conversion without intellectual conversion leads to a radically confused theology. Intellectual conversion without religious conversion leads to clarity and distinctness but without a soul.