Archival Number: A566
Author: Lonergan, B.
Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran
56600D0L060 May 3
(1) We have described horizon. It is differentiated relatively and absolutely: relatively, in accord with psychological, social, and cultural development; absolutely in accord with intellectual, moral, and religious conversion.
(2) Horizon is found both in the object studied and in the subject doing the studying: in the object, whether this be (i) the immediate realities of living or (ii) what the one being studied writes, the tendencies he/she exhibits in common with others, the schools to which he/she belongs, or (iii) the histories he/she writes, or (iv) the critical judgments he/she passes on histories; in the subject, in the one who treats the object, in the theologian, in me.
(3) As horizons vary, the field varies. Authenticity or inauthenticity, whether the authenticity be rationalized or just a matter of blindnessm obnubilation.
(4) Method determines the horizon: Christian, the horizon of writers or theologians, of historians, of critics. This determination is factual; that is, it does not follow the way of empiricists or positivists, for facts are not known before the data are understood. The factual determination takes in everything that regards psychological, social, and cultural development. This determination is also critical, and this means that it takes in everything that regards intellectual, moral, and religious conversion.
This is the method of history, hermeneutics, positive studies. At the same time it is the method which judges, discerns the sheep and the goats, reveals aberrations and progress. It has an a priori element, which however is ad utrumque: either the same or different (comparative), either organic or incoherent, either developintg or static, either position or counterposition.
(4) It discerns between what is of greater and of lesser moment to the theologian. The theologian especially considers the horizon as absolute, as having to do with conversion, and less the horizon as relative, as having to do with psychological, social, and cultural development.
For example, in studying the period from the New Testament to Nicea, the theologian does not study everything psychological, social, cultural, but those things that have to be known in order to distinguish positions from counterpositions.
(5) Wisdom in the speculative domain, prudence in the practical. But once historical consciousness has arisen, there is a need for wisdom regarding the concrete. Wisdom regarding the concrete is understood inasmuch as it is included in method. Method is open to everything, factual, critical, evaluative.
(6) It does not bring it about that everyone thinks the same: there are as many ideas as there are horizons. It expects, explains, and judges differences.