Armiens for his 'tertianship,' a year devoted to spiritual reflection and development. He returned to the Gregorian in 1938 to write his doctoral dissertation in theology, but he had no definite topic in mind. After discussions with his director, Charles Boyer, he decided to write 'A History of St Thomas's Thought on Operative Grace,' a study of the development of St Thomas's notions of grace and human freedom. His completed dissertation consisted of six sections and was published as a series of four articles in Theological Studies (1941,1942).
Lonergan then moved to Montreal and served as professor of theology at the Collège de l'Immaculée-Conception from 1940 to 1946. Pursuing his early interest in economics, he wrote the initial version of 'An Essay in Circulation Analysis' in 1944. The following year, Lonergan began working towards Insight with a lecture series entitled 'Thought and Reality,' which he delivered at the newly founded Thomas More Institute in Montreal: 'It seemed clear that I had a marketable product not only because of the notable perseverance of the class but also from the interest that lit up their faces and from such more palpable incidents as a girl marching in at the beginning of class, giving my desk a resounding whack with her hand, and saying, "I've got it." Those that have struggled with Insight will know what she meant."(15)
Lonergan, however, undertook to write a historical treatise on St
Thomas's cognitional theory before tackling the Insight project. He
investigated the procession of the inner word (verbum) in the
context of trinitarian theology, the internal dynamism of the human
mind in light of the life of God in its internal dynamism. This
study of verbum in Aquinas appeared as a series of five articles in
Theological Studies (1946, 1947, 1949).
In 1947 Lonergan moved to Toronto to assume the post of professor of theology at Regis College. It was during his years at Regis College that the massive work Insight was written: 'I worked at Insight from 1949 to 1953. During the first three years my intention was an exploration of methods generally in preparation for a study of the method of theology. But in 1952 it became clear that I was due to start teaching at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1953, so I changed my plan and decided to round off what I had done and publish it'"(16) By the fall of 1952, Lonergan had completed chapters 1 to To Page 8
15. Lonergan, 'Insight Revisited,' 268.