The Lonergan Reader
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13; the task of 'rounding off' consisted of writing seven more chapters by the next summer.

Lonergan returned to Rome and was professor of theology at the Gregorian from 1953 to 1965. During this period he worked on the thorny issue of the starting point and method of theology and the issue of the analytic and the synthetic approaches in theological studies. He took up the question of the role of history in theological method in light of the nineteenth-century German Historical School. At the Gregorian he taught graduate courses on theological method, and two undergraduate courses alternately for ten years, one on the Trinity and the other on the Incarnate Word. His lectures were delivered in Latin to large audiences of students from around the world: 'They were about six hundred and fifty strong and between them, not individually but distributively, they seemed to read everything. It was quite a challenge.'(17) To meet this challenge Lonergan read the works of those thinkers currently in vogue, primarily the existential phenomenologists. He remarked of this time: 'I was moving into the European atmosphere in which phenomenology was dominant.'(18) His series of lectures on existentialism, delivered at Boston College in 1957, exhibit his familiarity with Husserl, Heidegger, and the existentialists, and his high regard at that time for the work of Karl Jaspers. After 1954, Lonergan traveled to North America every summer to give institutes and lectures on his book Insight and on issues related to method in theology. Some highlights of this very productive period are his lectures on Insight, given at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, in 1958; his 'Philosophy of Education' lectures given in Cincinnati in 1959; and two major Latin treatises written in Rome, De Deo Trino (1957, 1961, 1964) and De Verbum Incarnato (1960, 1961, 1964).

In 1965, Lonergan returned to Canada for a sabbatical but had to undergo an operation for lung cancer. His recuperation took months. But that same year Lonergan made his breakthrough in theological method, which resulted in his model of eight functional specialties. He remained in Toronto as research professor at Regis College and devoted the next five years to developing this fundamental conception of theological method. The fruit of this creative effort, Method in Theology was completed in 1971 and published in 1972. Lonergan gave a To Page 9


17. Ibid., 276.

18. Caring, 105.