The Lonergan Reader
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U of T Press

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selections representative of Lonergan's major concerns, central ideas, and basic positions. But, in doing so, we have tried to make allowance for the scholar's interest in the relations of Lonergan's problematic to his ultimate conclusions, of his emerging ideas to one another, of his methodological, philosophical, and theological positions to the cultural and historical contexts out of which they emerged and to which they are responses.

Our selections are organized into four parts. Each part is composed of various selections. When appropriate, selections are divided into smaller excerpts. Part 1 is devoted almost entirely to selections from Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1953). There are just two exceptions: excerpts from an unpublished preface to Insight and Lonergan's first series of lectures on that work. Insight is a fundamental philosophical work. Highly complex in its structure, it is eight hundred pages in length and provides essential background to understanding Lonergan's subsequent lectures and writings. Lonergan himself described Insight as more a 'program' than an 'argument.' Our choice of selections from Insight is an attempt to represent accurately the unfolding program without obscuring significant steps in a very lengthy argument, and to make available to a wider audience a basic understanding of this foundational work.

Part 2 consists of selections from lectures and writings completed after Insight but before the publication of Method in Theology in 1972. These selections represent an extension of positions established in Insight and contain Lonergan's further explorations of the notions of culture, meaning, value, and history on the way to his proposing a method for a renewed Catholic theology. No deliberate attempt has been made to represent developmental stages in the emergence of Lonergan's views on these topics; nevertheless, one who reads Parts 1 and 2 in sequence will discern an overall shift of focus from methodological issues surrounding the natural sciences, with which Insight dealt at length and in detail, to those surrounding human science and human studies.

Part 3 is devoted to selections from Method in Theology. The greater portion of these selections is taken from Part 1 of that work, in which Lonergan provides the background needed for understanding his account of theological method as a collaborative process of mediation between a cultural matrix and the role and significance of religion in that matrix. The remaining selections are taken from Part 2, in which To Page 28