Monday, 30 July 2012

The natural and the supernatural in the religions

Joaquim’s paper Jacques Maritain e la mistica natural Indiana,” a reworked version of the article we printed in DJPE, makes very clear the position of Maritain: Christian mysticism is supernatural; Indian mysticism is really an experience of the self, and purely natural. However, he does admit that there could be ‘mixtures’ – mystical experiences that have ‘touches’ of the supernatural. How, I have to read further to understand.
I was asking myself: how does this position compare with that of Lonergan? Perhaps this way. In his earlier writings, Lonergan would talk of natural, relatively supernatural and absolutely supernatural solutions to the problem of evil. In his later position, he would take the clear (Christian) stand that the actually realized dispensation is absolutely supernatural. He would go further and state that the absolutely supernatural gift of God’s love is given to all, and therefore is available / given in all religions. He would say clearly that, in their positive moments, all religions are fruits of the gift of the Spirit.
I am thinking now that even in his earlier position, on the hypothesis / faith assertion that the actually realized dispensation is the absolutely supernatural one, he might have envisaged such a position. It is not said, and he does not say clearly, that any religion is natural. Hoever, he does talk / imply that Islam has no place for the supernatural mysteries. But then the mysteries regard the content of faith, perhaps? That position, in that case, would not really exclude the possibility of a truly supernatural gift of God’s love given even in Islam.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Gandhi and Lonergan

In the context of Richard Howards and Joanna Swanger's forthcoming book, Gandhi and the Future of Economics: Imaginary Dialogues between Gandhi and Some Indian Intellectuals, I was thinking of a future dialogue between Gandhi and Lonergan. If Lonergan could contribute a spine of hardcore economic theory to Gandhian intuitions, we might have a viable alternative to support obvious good will (I am thinking here of Singh). I was thinking this morning: here is a government whose survival depends on controlling the prices; yet it seems unable to do it. So perhaps it does not know how to. What if someone were to say how? What is an economic science focused on prices were barking up the wrong tree? What if we need to recognize productivity as the generator engine of economic growth, distinguish two types of product, and systematically work out its implications?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

From substance to subject in Christ

Another anomaly: from substance to subject in Christ Jesus (see Lonergan, "Existenz and Aggiornamento," 1964), or from the vegetative living of being temples of the Spirit, members of Christ, adoptive children of the Father, to conscious living, spontaneous living, deliberate living, which is growth in prayer. [Lonergan, "The Mediation of Christ in Prayer," Philosophical and Theological Papers 1958-1964, CWL 6 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) 179.]

The anomaly is this: does not Lonergan say elsewhere, and most of the time, that the gift of God's grace is itself conscious, even if not known?