Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Intellectual conversion rare

"Intellectual conversion, I think, is very rare."
- B. Lonergan, "Bernard Lonergan Responds (1)," Shorter Papers, CWL 20 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007) 274.

Amazing to hear him say that. It had not registered before. He is perfectly right, of course. We can and should readily expect to find religious and moral conversion in interlocutors with the most diverse origins, for the Spirit raises up good people everywhere. But the operation of the Spirit is probably somewhat different when it comes to intellectual conversion. I guess there it is a matter of history and the dialectic of history or the experiment of history, under the guidance of divine Providence....

So the key problem in dialogue and in theological method is going to be intellectual conversion. The most intractable problems will usually be rooted in lack of intellectual conversion.

But, I think, there are certain major problems rooted in absence of religious conversion? Would rationalism and immanentism be one such? Or would they also be, in the end, reduced to lack of intellectual conversion? For it is possible to be a rationalist and a truly good person all the same.

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