Monday, 9 April 2012

Patrick H. Byrne on Lonergan

Some useful articles of Pat Byrne:

Byrne, Patrick H. 1982. "The Thomist Sources of Lonergan's Dynamic World-View" The Thomist 46.1 (January 1982), 108-145.

Byrne, Patrick H. 1986. "The Fabric of Lonergan's Thought" Lonergan Workshop v., ed. by Frederick Lawrence. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1-84.


  1. Thanks for posting your musings on Lonergan. My thinking has been shaped by Lonergan and I hope to be studying at Regis College this fall. I am currently thinking through 20th century theology and Radical Orthodoxy. I am thinking about epistemology, metaphysics, the grace/nature debate at the center of Radical orthodoxy, as RO is trying to fix the divisions in 20th century theology by saying that the grace/nature distinction that is basic to the divisions in 20th century theology is a false beginning point. Lonergan agrees with Maurice Merleau-Ponty on the corporeality of knowledge. I think there could be dialogue here with some in Radical Orthodoxy, particularly Phillip Blond, who writes on perception and is a realist, calling for the way of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Also, there is Graham Ward, who is turning to phenomenology. Milbank has written that he is not for phenomenology. I think the conflict with Milbank and Lonergan in the note against Lonergan in "Truth in Aquinas" is a conceptualist framework vs. a preconceptual event.

    "The work had been written originally in the 1940s to correct a mistaken theological tradition which had spoken about acts of human understanding in terms of forming concepts and definitions. To understand was to articulate words that one speaks or writes. But, in Lonergan's carefully researched analysis of both Aquinas and Aristotle, understanding presents itself as a preconceptual event which is not really produced by the human intellect, but is in fact received by the human intellect as apt images suggest intelligible relations which are grasped by acts of the mind. Lonergan's analysis of Aquinas on human understanding reveals how Aquinas's theology cannot be properly understood if a scholastic, conceptualist notion of understanding is retained as one's primary hermeneutic."

    1. Thank you Justin. I need to dwell more carefully on your comment, so I will just leave it there right now. But thanks, and the best for your work.
      The musings I put up here are often very tentative, just thinking aloud. I put down whatever catches my attention, and want to preserve for the future for myself and for anyone else who is interested.